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3rd Sunday/Ordinary Time January 26, 2020
A Message from Fr. Richard, C.P………
Prayer ....let's talk some more.
As I mentioned before, each of us receives a unique gift of prayer. We share in the communal, liturgical prayer life of our family, the Church, in our sacramental life. As time goes on, we will look at those sacraments and their meaning for our life together as a parish family. In addition, each of us receives a gift of personal prayer. There are many methods and ways of praying in our personal prayer lives. This week, we are invited by our Holy Father to focus on one of those ways.
In his Apostolic letter of September 30, 2019, Pope Francis declared the "Third Sunday in Ordinary Time" to be the first Word of God Sunday throughout the world. The purpose, he tells us, is to celebrate, study and spread the Word of God. Our Holy Father provides us with a rather wonderful manner of personal prayer in this proclamation. Praying the Scriptures not only enlightens us as to what took place in the days Jesus walked among us but helps us to discover in newer and fresh ways how the teachings of Jesus - His mind and Heart - give meaning and purpose to the circumstances of our lives today. Praying the Scriptures gives us insight into what our human nature is all about and how we are called to live in love relationship with God. Our pondering the Scriptures helps us to embrace the gift of redeeming love given to us in the sufferings, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. That is the heart of who we are as God's family the Church. Living in the mystery of that love means we invite the mind and heart of Jesus into every dimension of our lives, into every choice we make in life and into every circumstance we experience in life. It is a tall order and may seem overwhelming. For this reason, a steady reading of Scripture, a steady praying over the message of the day, and a steady openness to allowing the message to sink into our lives daily makes for steady growth in understanding our life with a loving God.
In praying over or studying our Scriptures, we would do well to remember St. Paul of the Cross' advice not to overwhelm ourselves by pledging ourselves to do too much at one time. A five minute reading of a paragraph, a gospel story, moment of healing, or gift of forgiveness for someone in the gospel followed by a few minutes of prayerful reflection is plenty. For those who feel called to more robust study and reflection, Brother Joe Rogers, C.P. of our St. Ann's Passionist Community offers a bible study program twice each year. On Tuesday, March 3, he will begin a new series of study sessions on the Gospel of Mark here in the St. Gabriel's Conference Room in the Lower Basilica. They meet at 7:00 pm each Tuesday night. This has the wonderful advantage of pondering the Gospel we will be hearing throughout this coming year at our weekend Mass as well as providing a great Lenten opportunity to do that little bit extra to nourish our faith in preparation for Easter.
This is one way to help our personal prayer life along. Think about it for yourself.............. We'll talk some more.
** Vocations to the Passionist Order: If anyone is considering becoming a Passionist Priest or Brother, please log onto email@example.com or contact Fr. Lee Havey, C.P. for more information