Memorial of Saint Dominic, Priest

Reading 1 Ez 1:2-5, 24-28c

On the fifth day of the fourth month of the fifth year,
that is, of King Jehoiachin’s exile,
The word of the LORD came to the priest Ezekiel,
the son of Buzi,
in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar.—
There the hand of the LORD came upon me.

As I looked, a stormwind came from the North,
a huge cloud with flashing fire enveloped in brightness,
from the midst of which (the midst of the fire)
something gleamed like electrum.
Within it were figures resembling four living creatures
that looked like this: their form was human.

Then I heard the sound of their wings,
like the roaring of mighty waters,
like the voice of the Almighty.
When they moved, the sound of the tumult was like the din of an army.
And when they stood still, they lowered their wings.

Above the firmament over their heads
something like a throne could be seen,
looking like sapphire.
Upon it was seated, up above, one who had the appearance of a man.
Upward from what resembled his waist I saw what gleamed like electrum;
downward from what resembled his waist I saw what looked like fire;
he was surrounded with splendor.
Like the bow which appears in the clouds on a rainy day
was the splendor that surrounded him.
Such was the vision of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.

Responsorial Psalm PS 148:1-2, 11-12, 13, 14

R. Heaven and earth are filled with your glory.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Praise the LORD from the heavens;
praise him in the heights;
Praise him, all you his angels;
praise him, all you his hosts.
R. Heaven and earth are filled with your glory.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Let the kings of the earth and all peoples,
the princes and all the judges of the earth,
Young men too, and maidens,
old men and boys,
R. Heaven and earth are filled with your glory.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Praise the name of the LORD,
for his name alone is exalted;
His majesty is above earth and heaven.
R. Heaven and earth are filled with your glory.
or:
R. Alleluia.
And he has lifted up the horn of his people.
Be this his praise from all his faithful ones,
from the children of Israel, the people close to him.
Alleluia.
R. Heaven and earth are filled with your glory.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia See 2 Thes 2:14

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God has called you through the Gospel
To possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 17:22-27

As Jesus and his disciples were gathering in Galilee,
Jesus said to them,
“The Son of Man is to be handed over to men,
and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.”
And they were overwhelmed with grief.

When they came to Capernaum,
the collectors of the temple tax approached Peter and said,
“Does not your teacher pay the temple tax?”
“Yes,” he said.
When he came into the house, before he had time to speak,
Jesus asked him, “What is your opinion, Simon?
From whom do the kings of the earth take tolls or census tax?
From their subjects or from foreigners?”
When he said, “From foreigners,” Jesus said to him,
“Then the subjects are exempt.
But that we may not offend them, go to the sea, drop in a hook,
and take the first fish that comes up.
Open its mouth and you will find a coin worth twice the temple tax.
Give that to them for me and for you.”

– – –

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Faith as Realized Hope / La Fe Como la Esperanza Realizada

How many people when they hear the word faith immediately think of that iconic scene in Indiana Jones where he takes the step out into the apparent void only to be caught by an unseen trail of rock? I know this is where my mind often goes, and though I think this scene actually depicts faith really well, we tend to misunderstand faith as blind obedience to something we can’t understand. 

Think about the scene in Indiana Jones for a second. If you haven’t seen the film, Indiana Jones has to make a leap of faith across what looks like a large black hole. His father, who is near death, has full faith that if he takes the step he will survive. Indiana has to put his faith in his father and the knowledge he has in order to get across. Of course, when he jumps, the camera angle turns and reveals a stone pathway that was invisible to the naked eye. Not only was this brilliant from a filmmaking perspective, I think it drives home a point. 

Indiana Jones was not trusting dumb luck. He was not jumping out in blind obedience to things he didn’t know. Quite the opposite in fact, he was trusting his father. His father is the one who told him he should jump, his father was the one who fully believed that he would be alright once he took the leap, and then Indiana had to decide. The decision he had to make was whether or not he trusted his father. 

It’s really the same with us in the spiritual life isn’t it? If we think of faith as just blind trust to someone we don’t know, then of course we wouldn’t want to have faith. But if we start to learn about who God is, read his story through the scriptures, hear of his love for us, talk with him on a daily basis, then we will start to know him and we can be given the gift of faith. 

God wants us to know him and he wants us to trust him. He wants us to know that faith in him gives us power. Like it says in today’s Second Reading, “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” Indiana hoped he wouldn’t fall to his death and trusted his father. His hope was realized, or made true, through the invisible bridge. And once his hope was realized, there was evidence for what he couldn’t see. It is the same with us. When we have faith, our hope becomes realized. Do we believe that? Do we trust God enough that we know he wants what is best for us? Do we have faith in him and how he will care for our needs? 

Let’s all pray that we can have faith like Abraham did in the Old Testament. Faith which is the realization of our hope and the evidence of things not seen. 

From all of us here at Diocesan, God bless!

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¿Cuántas personas cuando escuchan la palabra fe inmediatamente piensan en esa escena icónica de la película Indiana Jones donde da el paso hacia el vacío aparente solo para ser sostenido por un camino de roca invisible? Sé que esto es lo que yo pienso con frecuencia, y aunque creo que esta escena realmente representa la fe muy bien, tendemos a malinterpretar la fe como una obediencia ciega a algo que no entendemos.

Piensa en la escena de Indiana Jones por un segundo. Si no has visto la película, Indiana Jones tiene que dar un salto de fe a través de lo que parece ser un gran vacio. Su padre, que está a punto de morir, tiene plena fe en que si da el paso sobrevivirá. Indiana tiene que poner su fe en su padre y el conocimiento que tiene para poder cruzar. Por supuesto, cuando salta, el ángulo de la cámara gira y revela un camino de piedra que era invisible a simple vista. Esto no solo fue brillante desde una perspectiva cinematográfica, creo que también ilustra el punto.

Indiana Jones no confiaba en la mala suerte. No estaba saltando en obediencia ciega a cosas que no sabía. De hecho, todo lo contrario, confiaba en su padre. Su padre es quien le dijo que debería saltar, su padre fue quien creyó plenamente que estaría bien una vez que diera el salto, y luego Indiana tuvo que decidir. La decisión que tenía que tomar era si confiaba o no en su padre.

Realmente es lo mismo con nosotros en la vida espiritual, ¿no? Si pensamos en la fe como una simple confianza ciega en alguien que no conocemos, entonces, por supuesto, no querríamos tener fe. Pero si comenzamos a aprender acerca de quién es Dios, leemos su historia a través de las Escrituras, escuchamos de su amor por nosotros, hablamos con él a diario, entonces comenzaremos a conocerlo y se nos puede dar el don de la fe.

Dios quiere que lo conozcamos y quiere que confiemos en él. Él quiere que sepamos que la fe en él nos da poder. Como dice la Segunda Lectura de hoy, “La fe es la forma de poseer, ya desde ahora, lo que se espera y de conocer las realidades que no se ven”. Indiana esperaba no murir al caer y confiaba en su padre. Su esperanza se realizó, o se hizo realidad, a través del puente invisible. Y una vez que su esperanza se hizo realidad, hubo evidencia de lo que no podía ver. Es lo mismo con nosotros. Cuando tenemos fe, nuestra esperanza se hace realidad. ¿Creemos eso? ¿Confiamos en Dios lo suficiente como para saber que Él quiere lo mejor para nosotros? ¿Tenemos fe en él y en cómo cuidará de nuestras necesidades?

Oremos todos para que podamos tener fe como la tuvo Abraham en el Antiguo Testamento. Fe que es la forma de poseer, ya desde ahora, lo que se espera y de conocer las realidades que no se ven.

De parte de todos nosotros aquí en Diocesan, ¡Dios los bendiga!

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Tommy Shultz is a Business Development Representative for Diocesan. In this role he is committed to bringing the best software to dioceses and parishes while helping them evangelize on the digital continent. Tommy has worked in various diocese and parish roles since his graduation from Franciscan University with a Theology degree. He hopes to use his skills in evangelization, marketing, and communications, to serve the Church and bring the Good News to all. His favorite quote comes from St. John Paul II, who said, “A person is an entity of a sort to which the only proper and adequate way to relate is love.”

Feature Image Credit: Dayne Topkin, unsplash.com/photos/xTmqoidRoKQ

It Is Good That We Are Here / Que a Gusto Que Estamos Aquí

Every year when the Feast of the Transfiguration comes around, I wonder “What were Peter, John, and James thinking?” As they climbed the mountain with Jesus were they thinking about the beauty they would encounter at the peak? Were they complaining about blisters forming on their feet? Were they thinking about how sore their muscles would be the next morning? Whatever they were thinking, my guess is that even in their wildest thoughts they did not imagine they would encounter Jesus conversing with Moses and Elijah. 

With the Transfiguration, Jesus gives Peter, John, and James a glimpse at what they will experience in Heaven. Peter recognizes what Jesus is showing them and when they see Jesus in His glory Peter says, “Master, it is good that we are here”. 

“Master, it is good that we are here.”

What a humbling statement. Imagine how our perspectives on our circumstances and on life in general could change if our constant prayer were “Master, it is good that we are here.” It’s easy to find God in positive circumstances: when we hear good news, when we visit a beautiful place, when we run into an old friend. But do we seek the Lord in the midst of difficult circumstances? Do we try to see how “it is good that we are here” when it’s not so obvious? The image of the transfigured Lord gives us something to look forward to. He reveals His glory to Peter, John, and James so they can bear witness to others about the good that comes with acknowledging Christ as the Son of God. Jesus calls us to testify to His glory in the same way the disciples did. 

May we open our hearts and minds to whatever God is calling us to and put our trust in God so we can say with confidence “Master, it is good that we are here”.

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Cada año, cuando llega la Fiesta de la Transfiguración, me pregunto: “¿Qué estaban pensando Pedro, Juan y Santiago?” Mientras subían la montaña con Jesús, ¿estaban pensando en la belleza que encontrarían en la cima? ¿Se quejaban de que se les formaban ampollas en los pies? ¿Estaban pensando en el dolor que sintirían en los músculos el día siguiente? Independientemente de lo que estuvieran pensando, mi suposición es que incluso en sus pensamientos más locos no imaginaron que se encontrarían con Jesús conversando con Moisés y Elías.

Durante la Transfiguración, Jesús les da a Pedro, Juan y Santiago un vistazo de lo que experimentarán en el Cielo. Pedro reconoce lo que Jesús les está mostrando y cuando ven a Jesús en su gloria Pedro dice: “Maestro, ¡qué a gusto estamos aquí!”

“Maestro, ¡qué a gusto estamos aquí!”

Qué declaración tan humilde. Imagínese cómo podrían cambiar nuestras perspectivas sobre nuestras circunstancias y sobre la vida en general si nuestra oración constante fuera “Maestro, ¡qué a gusto estamos aquí!” Es fácil encontrar a Dios en circunstancias positivas: cuando escuchamos buenas noticias, cuando visitamos un lugar hermoso, cuando nos encontramos con un amigo después de mucho tiempo. Pero, ¿buscamos al Señor en medio de circunstancias difíciles? ¿Tratamos de ver cómo “¡qué a gusto estamos aquí!” cuando no es tan obvio? La imagen del Señor transfigurado nos da algo que esperar. Él revela Su gloria a Pedro, Juan y Santiago para que puedan dar testimonio a otros sobre el bien que viene al reconocer a Cristo como el Hijo de Dios. Jesús nos llama a dar testimonio de Su gloria de la misma manera que lo hicieron los discípulos.

Que abramos nuestros corazones y mentes a lo que Dios nos está llamando y pongamos nuestra confianza en Dios para que podamos decir con confianza “Maestro, ¡qué a gusto estamos aquí!”

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Dakota lives in Denver, CO with her husband, Ralph, and their two sons, Alfie & Theophilus. She is the Dean of Enrollment Management for Bishop Machebeuf High School where her husband also teaches. You can find Dakota at the zoo or a brewery with her family or with her nose in a book at home. For more of Dakota’s writing check out https://dakotaleonard16.blogspot.com/

Feature Image Credit: Rita Laura, www.cathopic.com/photo/7546-atras-nubes-siempre-esta-sol