We have posted on our webpage a review
of PREACHING MATTERS: A PRAXIS FOR PREACHERS by Bishop Sylvester
Ryan and Deborah L. Wilhelm. Go to
http://www.preacherexchange.com/latest.htm and click on "Book
A friend of mine has cancer. She has
had to go for chemo and deal with the side effects. I know you know
how debilitating that can be. If we haven't gone through it
ourselves, we know family and friends who have. My friend is widowed
and her children live a long way from her. They call her every day
asking, "Mom, how are you doing?" They take turns visiting, but they
have their own children and jobs, so it's hard to visit frequently.
But my friend says, to reassure her kids, "Don't worry, I’ve got
Mary is her life-long friend. Both are
retired teachers and Mary goes with her for treatments. When she is
too sick Mary cooks and shops for her. So, my friend tells her
anxious children, "Don't worry, I've got Mary." Both my friend and
her children always say the same thing when talking about Mary,
"Thank God for Mary."The children say, "It sounds like Mary's first
name is, "Thank God," because whenever we speak of her we always
say, 'Thank God for Mary."'
A lot of people in need receive help at
just the right time from family, friends and even strangers, who
seem to show up from nowhere. When that happens the recipients of
the kindness will express their gratitude with a sincere thanks and
even a small gift of appreciation to the one who helped them. But
some people see even more than a helping hand when they are in need.
We can say they are people whose eyes are "wide open." In terms of
today’s gospel they "see." In other words, they can read the signs.
They not only see the person who helps them, but the One who sent
them help. So, like my friends, they say, "Thank God for________."
Fill in the blanks, I'm sure you can.
Today's gospel takes place right after
the crowds ate the multiplied bread Jesus provided them. He fed them
because they were hungry. Hungry and needy people need to be taking
care of – that's basic in the Gospels. But Jesus reminds them, even
though they have been well fed now, they will be hungry again.
Educators would call this a "teachable moment." Jesus is taking
advantage of the opportunity to remind them to put their efforts
into getting a more-enduring food, not only for their bodies, but
food for a deeper life. He is speaking of himself, of course. He is
the food that will not let them down; that gives a new life which
starts now and will not fade with the passage of time. In fact, it
will grow even richer.
Jesus certainly knows we have physical
needs and hungers: especially with a sick family member; after the
loss of a loved one; during hard economic times; in times of war and
the threat of more war. But surely he means more to us than help for
the immediate situations we find ourselves in. Of course we hope our
loved ones will get well; the economy turn around; peace comes, etc.
But if things improve, will we have less need for him in our lives?
Or, do we see that Jesus can feed our long – lasting hungers? He
offers to be the bread that will last and not run out on us, "true
bread from heaven."
When the people ask Jesus, "What can we
do to accomplish the works of God?" he responds, pointing to
himself, "This is the work of God, that you believe in the one God
sent."They respond by pointing to their past, "Moses gave us bread
in our hard time and we were able to travel across the desert."
Jesus says, "Well, Moses may have fed you bread, but God was the
provider of the bread. Couldn't you read the signs, it was God who
gave the bread." Jesus is asking them to open their eyes and "see,"
– that is, have faith in him.
Jesus is speaking to us about right
now, because God still gives us "bread from heaven." My friend saw
God doing that in her friend Mary. She said that God had sent her
Mary, "Mary is my God-sent."
That's something for each of us to
reflect on today, isn't it? Are we grateful for the help we have
gotten in hard times and do we see God as the Provider of that help?
If we have read the signs, if we had "wide open eyes," then we are
grateful for those who fed us bread when we needed it.
We are thankful for the Provider who
sent us the friend who said, "Don't worry, I'll be there with you";
for the teacher who spends extra time to help us pass a test; for
the catechist who helped us see God in new ways; for the
grandparent, uncle or aunt who lent us the money to finish school,
or helped us find a job; for the church volunteer who helped us look
beyond our immediate needs to see the desperate needs of others.
They, like Moses in the desert, were the feeders, but God was the
One who provided the bread. Did we see the "sign"? How do we respond
to this bountiful and generous God, who provides nourishing bread in
so many shapes and sizes? We can take our clue from the 14th
century Dominican mystic Meister Eckhart who said, "If the only
prayer we ever say in our lives is ‘Thank you,’ that will be
Which is what the word Eucharist means,
"Thank you." Thank you to our God, the One who provides the lasting
bread, Jesus Christ. Listen to how often we will say "Thank you," or
express gratitude, during our Eucharistic prayer. When we hear it,
we can recall the people God sent to feed our hungers, physical and
spiritual – the feeders. Then say, "Thank you," to the God who
provided that bread."If the only prayer we ever say in our lives is
‘Thank you,’ that will be enough."
Click here for a link to this Sunday’s
All are but parts of one stupendous whole.
Whose body Nature is, and God
The Essay on Man
JUSTICE BULLETIN BOARD
You should put away the old self of
your former way of life. . . and put on the new self, created in
God’s way in righteousness and holy truth.–Ephesians 4: 22-24
I got to thinking this morning how
wonderful a shower makes me feel, like a new person. It is no wonder
that the Church uses the symbol of water to visualize the grace of
baptism to new life. We often take for granted the availability of
water here in the USA, while, in many countries around the world,
water is a luxury.
Here at Sacred Heart, our Global
Outreach committee has been trying to raise money for a well in
Kenya. Because of the depth needed to reach water, the well will
cost approximately $24,000. Vince and Judy Schneider have been
collecting old cell phones as a fundraiser and also asking for
donations in $14 increments for each foot of well. They can be
reached after Masses at the Fair Trade table on the third Sunday of
every month. It has been slow-going so I want to give you a little
background information. Perhaps, during this hot August, you and
your family could think of ways to help raise funds for the families
in Kenya who will be helped by this well.
The well will be located at the
Ilbissil Township Primary School which is on public land that
belongs to the government under the ministry of education.
Currently, the nearest source of water is a community well about 5
kilometers away (a little over 3 miles). There are some natural
wells in or near the community but the water is unhygienic for human
consumption and is mainly used for livestock. The school will be
responsible for the management and maintenance of the well and will
also manage the project. Surrounding the primary school is a slum,
about five churches, one secondary school, and two nursery schools.
These will be the direct beneficiaries of the water project. The
total number of people to be served is about 3000 that includes 800
students and 2200 from the surrounding community. The Ilbissil
community will provide the manual labor where needed and keep the
The Global Outreach Committee is
working with Myles of Great Hopes, a local non-profit based in Cary
and our liaison with the Ilbissil community. You can learn more at
The next time you shower or you bathe
your kids, think about the families in the Ilbissil Township and
what a difference you will make in their lives by helping build this
well. Put on your new self.
-------Barbara Molinari Quinby, MPS
Coordinator of Social Justice Ministries
Heart Cathedral--Raleigh, N.C.
Mini-reflections on the Sunday
scripture readings designed for persons on the run. "Faith Book" is
also brief enough to be posted in the Sunday parish bulletins people
From today’s Gospel reading:
The crowd said to Jesus,
"What sign can you do, that we may see
and believe in you?
What can we do?
Jesus is the food that will always be
there to nourish us. He gives us a new life which starts now and
will not fade with the passage of time. In fact, it will grow even
richer. Do we "see" that Jesus can feed our long-lasting hungers? He
offers to be the bread that will last and not run out on us, "true
bread from heaven."
So we ask ourselves:
- For what are we hungering these
- How can we begin to fill this
POSTCARDS TO DEATH ROW INMATES
It is impossible to
imagine that states today cannot make use of another means than
capital punishment to defend peoples' lives from an unjust
—Pope Francis, Oct. 23, in a meeting with representatives of the
International Association of Penal Law.
Inmates on death row are the most
forgotten people in the prison system. Each week I post in this
space several inmates’ names and addresses. I invite you to write a
postcard to one or more of them to let them know we have not
forgotten them. If you like, tell them you heard about them through
North Carolina’s, "People of Faith Against the Death Penalty." If
the inmate responds you might consider becoming pen pals.
Please write to:
- Lawrence J. Peterson #0320825 (On
death row since 12/12/96)
- Henry L. Wallace #0422350
- Terrence Taylor #0539901 (2/18/97)
----Central Prison 4285 Mail Service
Center, Raleigh 27699-4285
For more information on the Catholic
position on the death penalty go to the webpage of the Catholic
"First Impressions" is a service to preachers and those
wishing to prepare for Sunday worship. It is sponsored by the
Dominican Friars. If you would like "First Impressions" sent weekly
to a friend, send a note to fr. John Boll, OP at
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1. We have compiled Four CDS for
- Individual CDs for each
Liturgical Year, A, B or C
- One combined CD for
"Liturgical Years A, B and C."
If you are a preacher, lead a
Lectionary-based scripture group, or are a member of a liturgical
team, these CDs will be helpful in your preparation process.
Individual worshipers report they also use these reflections as they
prepare for Sunday liturgy.
You can order the CDs by going to our
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CD link on the left.
(These CDs have been updated twice in
the last five years.)
Dominicales" —These Spanish reflections on the Sunday and daily
scriptures are written by Dominican sisters and friars. If you or a
friend would like to receive these reflections drop a note to fr.
John Boll, O.P. at
3. Our webpage:
Where you will find "Preachers’
Exchange," which includes "First Impressions" and "Homilías Dominicales," as well as articles, book
reviews, daily homilies and other material pertinent to preaching.
4. "First Impressions" is
a service to preachers and those wishing to prepare for Sunday
worship. It is sponsored by the Dominican Friars. If you would like
"First Impressions" sent weekly to a friend, send a note to fr. John
Boll, OP at the above email address.
Thank you and blessings on your
fr. Jude Siciliano, O.P.
St. Albert Priory
3150 Vince Hagan Drive
Irving, Texas 75062-4736
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