Rake with Leaves

Leaf Raking for the Elderly

This past weekend, our Venturing crew, which serves as the parish teen youth group, did some leaf raking for the elderly in our neighborhood. We teamed up with SAJE – an ecumenical organization made up of four local churches, including our own parish, which serves the elderly in our community. Several seniors had contacted them asking for help with their yard-work.

So our group of eight teens did a “yard blitz”. At the first house, there weren’t many leaves to rake, but we cleaned out a garden and trimmed some bushes. At the second house, we raked up gumballs from a sweet gum tree. And at the third house, there were plenty of leaves to rake.

Afterwards, we went to the local Episcopal church, which is a member of SAJE, and we had pizza and cookies. The pastor of the church explained the many things that SAJE does to help our aged neighbors and the teens got a chance to ask some questions.

Overall, we spent about three hours on this service project and the teens felt like they were able to really help their older neighbors.

Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary

Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary 2014

Today, Tuesday October 7, 2014 is the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary

Here is a quote from today’s responsorial Psalm:
Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.

This verse reflects how Mary allowed the Lord to guide her decisions in life. May we follow her example and allow ourselves to walk the path God has chosen for us.

Here are the complete readings for today
Reading 1: Galatians 1:13-24
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 139:1b-3, 13-14ab, 14c-15
Gospel: Luke 10:38-42

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I am fearfully wonderfully made

I am fearfully wonderfully made

Today, Friday October 3, 2014 is the Friday of the Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time

Here is a quote from today’s Mass readings:
Truly you have formed my inmost being;
you knit me in my mother’s womb.
I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made;
wonderful are your works.

This verse acknowledges that God purposefully formed us. Even modern science cannot explain all of the complexities of the human being. Yet God designed all of us wonderfully.

Here are the complete readings for today
Reading 1: Job 38:1, 12-21; 40:3-5
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 139:1-3, 7-8, 9-10, 13-14ab
Gospel: Luke 10:13-16

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Unless you become like children

Unless you become like a child…

Today, Thursday October 2, 2014 is the Memorial of the Guardian Angels

Here is a quote from today’s Mass readings:
Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.

I think that this verse which reminds us to become like a child is very fitting for the feast day of guardian angels.  We teach our children about their guardian angels when they are frightened, but do we remember to turn to our guardian angels when we are in trouble? They are still there for us as adults, helping us fight off the forces of darkness in our lives.

Here are the complete readings for today
Reading 1: Job 19:21-27
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 27:7-8a, 8b-9abc, 13-14
Gospel: Matthew 18:1-5, 10

See the readings

Jesus Help Me Simplify My Life

Jesus, help me to simplify my life

Today, Wednesday October 1, 2014 is the Memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

Here is a quote from St. Thérèse:
Jesus, help me to simplify my life by learning what You want me to be and becoming that person.

Thérèse is my confirmation saint. She faced many difficulties in her life, but always focused on following Jesus with simplicity.  Today’s Mass readings also speak of the trials we face in life.  We must place our trust in God, as Thérèse did.

Here are the complete readings for today
Reading 1: Job 9:1-12, 14-16
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 88:10bc-11, 12-13, 14-15
Gospel: Luke 9:57-62

See the readings

Let my prayer come before you Lord

Let my prayer come before you, Lord

Today, Tuesday September 30, 2014 is the Memorial of Saint Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church

From today’s Mass readings:
O Lord my God, by day I cry out;
at night I clamor in your presence.
Let my prayer come before you;
incline your ear to my call for help.

Today’s readings remind us to turn to God when we face struggles in our lives. Prayer is powerful and God does hear us. Job certainly suffered and Jesus was frequently rejected, but they continued to pray.

Here are the complete readings for today
Reading 1: Job 3:1-3, 11-17, 20-23
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 88:2-3, 4-5, 6, 7-8
Gospel: Luke 9:51-56

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Love is patient Love is kind

Love Is Patient, Love Is Kind

Today, Wednesday September 17, 2014 is the Wednesday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time.

From today’s Mass readings:
Love is patient, love is kind.
It is not jealous, love is not pompous,
it is not inflated, it is not rude,
it does not seek its own interests,
it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,
it does not rejoice over wrongdoing
but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.

We were talking about the unrest in Ferguson Missouri at our youth group meeting a couple of weeks ago. One thing that came up in the discussion was how the events are being talked about in social media, including plenty of rude comments about differing opinions. We felt that the missing piece was love. If we could start by loving our brothers and sisters, even if we don’t agree with or understand each others’ point of view,  then perhaps our dialog would at least be meaningful.

Here are the complete readings for today
Reading 1: 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 33:2-3, 4-5, 12 and 22
Gospel: Luke 7:31-35

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Our Lady of Sorrows

Our Lady of Sorrows

Today, Monday September 15, 2014 is the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows.

From the Stabat Mater which is read on this memorial:
O sweet Mother! font of love,
Touch my spirit from above,
Make my heart with yours accord.

When we are overcome with sorrow, we can turn to Mary. She suffered many sorrows in her life, but remained devoted to Jesus.

Here are the complete readings for today
Reading 1: 1 Corinthians 11:17-26, 33
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 40:7-8a, 8b-9, 10, 17
Gospel: John 19:25-27 or Luke 2:33-35

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The Lord is near to all who call upon him

The Lord Is Near to All Who Call upon Him

Today, Saturday September 6, 2014 is the Saturday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time.

From today’s responsorial psalm:
The Lord is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth.

Sometimes we don’t get what we pray for, but prayer always brings us closer to God. Perhaps that knowledge of God’s presence is the answer to our prayers.

Here are the complete readings for today
Reading 1: 1 Corinthians 4:6b-15
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 145:17-18, 19-20, 21
Gospel: Luke 6:1-5

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