Posts by Cathy Raffaele

Readings: January 28, 2018, 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time

All readings from The Message Bible © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

  • Deuteronomy 18:15-20

Moses spoke to all the people, saying: God, your God, is going to raise up a prophet for you. God will raise him up from among your kinsmen, a prophet like me. Listen obediently to him. This is what you asked God, your God, for at Horeb on the day you were all gathered at the mountain and said, “We can’t hear any more from God, our God; we can’t stand seeing any more fire. We’ll die!”

And God said to me, “They’re right; they’ve spoken the truth.I’ll raise up for them a prophet like you from their kinsmen. I’ll tell him what to say and he will pass on to them everything I command him. And anyone who won’t listen to my words spoken by him, I will personally hold responsible.

“But any prophet who fakes it, who claims to speak in my name something I haven’t commanded him to say, or speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die.”

  • 1 Corinthians 7:32-35

Brothers and sisters: I want you to live as free of complications as possible. When you’re unmarried, you’re free to concentrate on simply pleasing the Master. Marriage involves you in all the nuts and bolts of domestic life and in wanting to please your spouse, leading to so many more demands on your attention. The time and energy that married people spend on caring for and nurturing each other, the unmarried can spend in becoming whole and holy instruments of God. I’m trying to be helpful and make it as easy as possible for you, not make things harder. All I want is for you to be able to develop a way of life in which you can spend plenty of time together with the Master without a lot of distractions.

  • Mark 1:21-28

        Confident Teaching

Then they entered Capernaum. When the Sabbath arrived, Jesus lost no time in getting to the meeting place. He spent the day there teaching. They were surprised at his teaching—so forthright, so confident—not quibbling and quoting like the religion scholars.

Suddenly, while still in the meeting place, he was interrupted by a man who was deeply disturbed and yelling out, “What business do you have here with us, Jesus? Nazarene! I know what you’re up to! You’re the Holy One of God, and you’ve come to destroy us!”

Jesus shut him up: “Quiet! Get out of him!” The afflicting spirit threw the man into spasms, protesting loudly—and got out.

Everyone there was incredulous, buzzing with curiosity. “What’s going on here? A new teaching that does what it says? He shuts up defiling, demonic spirits and sends them packing!” News of this traveled fast and was soon all over Galilee.

 

Reflection from Fr. Taylor: January 28, 2018, 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Deuteronomy 18:15-20    1 Corinthians 7:32-35    Mark 1:21-28

There is often a reference in scripture that Jesus speaks with authority, He always spoke the truth and didn’t worry about who might not like it. There could be many times in life where we refuse to speak up about moral justice, racial justice, equality, and how we should treat each other. Often it has to do with how other people may take it, or react to us.

But when Jesus is speaking He is speaking to our hearts not with the false authority of someone trying to scare us into submission. He is not the insecure person who wants to convince us of something He does not believe Himself. Jesus teaches what He believes, believes what He teaches, and He asks us to do the same.  He came into our world as a Messiah motivated by nothing but love for us. Real authority and power in this world comes from a living concern for others, and  what we can do to help them.

As we attend the holy sacrifice of the Mass today, the Lord perhaps is speaking to us. He is not threatening us. He does not want to trick or deceive us into empty promises. He wants to change our hearts. He wants us to share His heart. He wants to make them like His. Each day there are many opportunities. How is Jesus speaking to our hearts today?

 

Readings: January 21, 2018, 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

 All readings from The Message Bible © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

  • Jonah 3:1-5, 10

  Maybe God Will Change His Mind

God spoke to Jonah a second time: “Up on your feet and on your way to the big city of Nineveh! Preach to them. They’re in a bad way and I can’t ignore it any longer.”

This time Jonah started off straight for Nineveh, obeying God’s orders to the letter.

Nineveh was a big city, very big—it took three days to walk across it. Jonah entered the city, went one day’s walk and preached, “In forty days Nineveh will be smashed.”

God saw what they had done, that they had turned away from their evil lives. He did change his mind about them. What he said he would do to them he didn’t do.

  • 1 Corinthians 7:29-31

I do want to point out, friends, that time is of the essence. There is no time to waste, so don’t complicate your lives unnecessarily. Keep it simple—in marriage, grief, joy, whatever. Even in ordinary things—your daily routines of shopping, and so on. Deal as sparingly as possible with the things the world thrusts on you. This world as you see it is on its way out.

  • Mark 1:14-20

After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee preaching the Message of God: “Time’s up! God’s kingdom is here. Change your life and believe the Message.”

Passing along the beach of Lake Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew net-fishing. Fishing was their regular work. Jesus said to them, “Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass.”

They didn’t ask questions. They dropped their nets and followed.

A dozen yards or so down the beach, he saw the brothers James and John, Zebedee’s sons. They were in the boat, mending their fishnets. Right off, he made the same offer. Immediately, they left their father Zebedee, the boat, and the hired hands, and followed.

 

 

Reflection from Fr. Taylor: January 21, 2018, 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jonah 3:1-5, 10   1Corinthians 7:29-31   Mark 1:14-20

A decision to follow the Lord Jesus is not always an easy one because generally the call comes at once and there is not a lot of time to decide what our answer may be. But we can be reassured that the call is a good one. And that it will change our lives and the lives of those that we will serve.

When Jesus called the disciples they were tired and worried individuals. They were not too successful at what they were already doing and so they were not inclined to do something else. Throughout Old Testament history when God called various different prophets to serve they were always reluctant because they did not know the outcome or did not have faith in their abilities to carry this out.

God calls us in many diverse ways today. Many of us have diverse gifts and talents that we can use to help others. As we are called to serve others it is often a issue of rescuing people who are in all kinds of dangers, troubles and difficulties.

Jesus is calling each of us today to follow Him. He is asking us to keep evangelizing people with love and compassion. It’s a real challenge, but we don’t have to do it alone. That’s why we call ourselves a church. Throughout this year God will give us many opportunities to serve. We will have individual and community calls. Let’s realize that in our saying yes, we can do this because we know we never have to go it alone. You may feel hesitant to respond but it’s okay the Lord understands. The Lord gives us the faith and trust to respond positively and then go on and rely on His grace.

 

CCD Cancelled: January 14, 2018

CCD classes for Sunday, January 14, have been cancelled due to the weather and will be rescheduled.

In Memoriam: Pamela Smith

Pamela “Pam” Smith, sister of Josie Smith-Bryant,

d. January 11, 2018.

May she rest in peace.

  • Memorial Service on Wednesday, January 24, 2018, at 1 pm in the Chapel

In Memoriam: Dolores Schmid

Dolores E. Schmid, former parishioner,

d. January 3, 2018 in Berea, OH.

May she rest in peace.

From the Archives of Fr. Metzler’s Homily: 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

“Here I Am; You Called Me?”

1 Samuel 3:3b-10, 19    1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20     John 1:35-42

Nowadays we seem to be dissatisfied if we are considered ordinary. We seek to be the first or the best, or at least to belong to the group that is first or best. Yet most of us are really quite ordinary people living ordinary lives. Despite this, there need be nothing ordinary about being ordinary.

With this Sunday we enter the interlude between seasons. Christmas with its excitement and glitter is behind us, and the sober experience of Lent followed by the glory of Easter is in the future. This is Ordinary Time: we reflect on the very ordinary ways that God enters our lives, thus making them extraordinary.

The young boy Samuel was in the keeping of the old man Eli. This was a rather common situation, yet something extraordinary happened. Jesus’ appearance was so unremarkable that the Baptist had to point him out, and then something extraordinary happened. Perhaps what Paul describes is the most startling. Ordinary human beings are members of Christ; their bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit.

In these three incidents, the extraordinary was not apparent. At first, both Samuel and Eli misunderstood the voice; Paul rebuked Christians who had lost sight of their dignity; initially the disciples of John saw nothing unusual in Jesus. These people were only aware of what was obvious.

We are not unlike these biblical people. We do not always look beneath the surface, so we often miss the extraordinary in what is ordinary. We do not hear the voice of God in the voices of others calling us to great things, to sacrifice ourselves for our children or give of ourselves to aging parents. We do not recognize Christ in the thoughtful people with whom we work, the honest people with whom we do business, the understanding people who help us in simple ways, the ordinary people with whom we live.

It takes only a little effort to attune our ears to hear the voice of God, to adjust our sight to recognize Christ in our midst. As members of Christ, we have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. This same Spirit urges us to reach out to others. What we accomplish may not be as impressive as what was accomplished by Samuel, or the first disciples of Jesus, or Paul. Results are up to God. All we have to be concerned about is that we recognize the call of God in the ordinary events of life and that we respond: “Here I am. You called me.”

                  (Dianne Bergant, professor of biblical studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.)

 

Readings: January 14, 2018, 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

All readings from The Message Bible © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

  • 1 Samuel 3:3-21

           “Speak, God. I’m Ready to Listen”

Samuel was sleeping in the Temple of God, where the Chest of God rested. Then God called out, “Samuel, Samuel!” Samuel answered, “Yes? I’m here.” Then he ran to Eli saying, “I heard you call. Here I am.” Eli said, “I didn’t call you. Go back to bed.” And so he did. God called again, “Samuel, Samuel!” Samuel got up and went to Eli, “I heard you call. Here I am.” Again Eli said, “Son, I didn’t call you. Go back to bed.” (This all happened before Samuel knew God for himself. It was before the revelation of God had been given to him personally.) God called again, “Samuel!”—the third time! Yet again Samuel got up and went to Eli, “Yes? I heard you call me. Here I am.”

That’s when it dawned on Eli that God was calling the boy. So Eli directed Samuel, “Go back and lie down. If the voice calls again, say, ‘Speak, God. I’m your servant, ready to listen.’” Samuel returned to his bed. Then God came and stood before him exactly as before, calling out,

“Samuel! Samuel!” Samuel answered, “Speak. I’m your servant, ready to listen.”

Samuel grew up. God was with him, and Samuel’s prophetic record was flawless. Everyone in Israel, recognized that Samuel was a true prophet of God.     

  • 2 Corinthians 6: 13c-15a, 17-20

Brothers and sisters: the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord. Since the Master honors you with a body, honor him with your body! God honored the Master’s body by raising it from the grave. He’ll treat yours with the same resurrection power. Until that time, remember that your bodies are created with the same dignity as the Master’s body.

As it is written in Scripture, “The two become one.” Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever—the kind of sex that can never “become one.”

There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for “becoming one” with another. Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit?

Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.

  • John 1:35-42

           Come, See for Yourself

John was back at his post with two disciples, who were watching. He looked up, saw Jesus walking nearby, and said, “Here he is, God’s Passover Lamb.” The two disciples heard him and went after Jesus. Jesus looked over his shoulder and said to them, “What are you after?”

They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”   He replied, “Come along and see for yourself.” They came, saw where he was living, and ended up staying with him for the day. It was late afternoon when this happened.

Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard John’s witness and followed Jesus. The first thing he did after finding where Jesus lived was find his own brother, Simon, telling him, “We’ve found the Messiah” (that is, “Christ”). He immediately led him to Jesus.

Jesus took one look up and said, “You’re John’s son, Simon? From now on your name is Cephas” (or Peter, which means “Rock”).

Reflection from Fr. Taylor: January 14, 2018, 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

1 Samuel 3:3b-10, 19    1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20     John 1:35-42

None of us can say that there is only one way God speaks to our life and our heart. It come on many different occasions and different times on our life’s journey. The readings tells us Samuel did not catch on right away to Jesus’ call to Him, but the Lord was very patient knowing that it takes time. All of the prophets of old testament which the Lord called did not fully grasp what He was asking, and what the outcome would be. But they all ultimately said yes regardless of the price they had to pay.

Jesus today keeps sending all kind of messages our way. Even though He knows we will miss some of them or most of them in the commotions of life. I am sure that the Lord has said several things to us even in the beginning of this new year. Things that we can do to make ourselves a better person and more available to the Lord. Also things that we can do to help others. We can be spreaders of peace and acceptance. How we can really spread love during a time of so much hate.

When you attend Mass if you feel your heart is being moved even if its only by one phrase from the homily or the readings act on it. Remember it is not only emotion. It could be the Holy Spirit stirring within you. If someone ask for your attention it may be that the Lord is asking you to be of comfort to them, to take time to listen.

Remember if today we hear His voice let us not harden our hearts. What does it mean to serve? It means to be a family in the name of Christ. A challenge for us in the year 2018. Never give up and we never say life could not be better. Jesus has proven time and time again that this is certainly not so. We say Amen and welcome our new king, our new savior into the world.

May each of you have a blessed and peace-filled New Year.