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Daily Reading

Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Ez 18:25-28

Thus says the LORD:
You say, “The LORD’s way is not fair!”
Hear now, house of Israel:
Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair?
When someone virtuous turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies,
it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die.
But if he turns from the wickedness he has committed,
and does what is right and just,
he shall preserve his life;
since he has turned away from all the sins that he has committed,
he shall surely live, he shall not die.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (6a) Remember your mercies, O Lord.
Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior.
R. Remember your mercies, O Lord.
Remember that your compassion, O LORD,
and your love are from of old.
The sins of my youth and my frailties remember not;
in your kindness remember me,
because of your goodness, O LORD.
R. Remember your mercies, O Lord.
Good and upright is the LORD;
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
and teaches the humble his way.
R. Remember your mercies, O Lord.

Reading 2 Phil 2:1-11

Brothers and sisters:
If there is any encouragement in Christ,
any solace in love,
any participation in the Spirit,
any compassion and mercy,
complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love,
united in heart, thinking one thing.
Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory;
rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves,
each looking out not for his own interests,
but also for those of others.

Have in you the same attitude
that is also in Christ Jesus,
Who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
which is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

or Phil 2:1-5

Brothers and sisters:
If there is any encouragement in Christ,
any solace in love,
any participation in the Spirit,
any compassion and mercy,
complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love,
united in heart, thinking one thing.
Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory;
rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves,
each looking out not for his own interests,
but also for those of others.

Have in you the same attitude
that is also in Christ Jesus.

Alleluia Jn 10:27

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 21:28-32

Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people:
“What is your opinion?
A man had two sons.
He came to the first and said,
‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’
He said in reply, ‘I will not,’
but afterwards changed his mind and went.
The man came to the other son and gave the same order.
He said in reply, ‘Yes, sir, ‘but did not go.
Which of the two did his father’s will?”
They answered, “The first.”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you,
tax collectors and prostitutes
are entering the kingdom of God before you.
When John came to you in the way of righteousness,
you did not believe him;
but tax collectors and prostitutes did.
Yet even when you saw that,
you did not later change your minds and believe him.”

– – –

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.

Saint of the Day

St. Therese of the Child Jesus

St. Therese of the Child Jesus

Feast date: Oct 01

On October 1, Catholics around the world honor the life of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, or St. Thérèse of Lisieux on her feast day.  St. Thérèse was born January 2, 1873 in Alençon, France to pious parents, both of whom are scheduled to be canonized in October 2016. Her mother died when she was four, leaving her father and elder sisters to raise her.

On Christmas Day 1886 St. Thérèse had a profound experience of intimate union with God, which she described as a “complete conversion.”  Almost a year later, in a papal audience during a pilgrimage to Rome, in 1887, she asked for and obtained permission from Pope Leo XIII to enter the Carmelite Monastery at the young age of 15.

On entering, she devoted herself to living a life of holiness, doing all things with love and childlike trust in God. She struggled with life in the convent, but decided to make an effort to be charitable to all, especially those she didn’t like. She performed little acts of charity always, and little sacrifices not caring how unimportant they seemed.  These acts helped her come to a deeper understanding of her vocation.

She wrote in her autobiography that she had always dreamed of being a missionary, an Apostle, a martyr – yet she was a nun in a quiet cloister in France. How could she fulfill these longings?

“Charity gave me the key to my vocation. I understood that the Church had a Heart and that this Heart was burning with love. I knew that one love drove the members of the Church to action, that if this love were extinguished, the apostles would have proclaimed the Gospel no longer, the martyrs would have shed their blood no more. I understood that Love comprised all vocations, that Love was everything, that it embraced all times and places…in a word, that it was eternal! Then in the excess of my delirious joy, I cried out: O Jesus, my Love…my vocation, at last I have found it…My vocation is Love!”

Thérèse offered herself as a sacrificial victim to the merciful Love of God on June 9, 1895, the feast of the Most Holy Trinity and the following year, on the night between Holy Thursday and Good Friday, she noticed the first symptoms of Tuberculosis, the illness which would lead to her death.

Thérèse recognized in her illness the mysterious visitation of the divine Spouse and welcomed the suffering as an answer to her offering the previous year.  She also began to undergo a terrible trial of faith which lasted until her death a year and a half later.  “Her last words, ‘My God, I love you,’ are the seal of her life,” said Pope John Paul II.

Since her death, millions have been inspired by her ‘little way’ of loving God and neighbor. Many miracles have been attributed to her intercession. She had predicted during her earthly life that “My Heaven will be spent doing good on Earth.”

Saint Thérèse was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope John Paul II in 1997 – 100 years after her death at the age of 24. She is only the third woman to be so proclaimed, after Saint Catherine of Siena and Saint Teresa of Avila.

St. Thérèse wrote once, ‘You know well enough that Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love with which we do them.”


Daily Inspiration

Life Isn’t Fair / La vida no es justa

Life isn’t fair! How many times have we heard or said this phrase in our lifetime? From a young age we think that the world isn’t fair and oftentimes, the authority figures in our lives are quick to remind us of that fact. You would perhaps think that it would be different with God. That once we have a conversion and commit our lives to Christ that life would be fair from then on out right?

The first reading today from Ezekiel makes it clear that life does indeed become fair when we commit ourselves to Christ, but maybe not in the way we think of fairness. Like a good and loving Father would do, Ezekiel reminds us that when we complain about life being unfair, it is perhaps our attitude that needs a paradigm shift. He reminds us that it is our way of life that is not fair and due to this we have to deal with the consequences of our actions. 

It’s no secret that the battle cry of the last few generations has been freedom. We want freedom to do whatever we want, whenever we want, to whomever we want, with little to no consequences for our actions. The Lord gives us a new route to true freedom, not the superficial freedom that we think will satisfy but ultimately leaves us enslaved. I would say, and I think Ezekiel confirms this, that true freedom is not so much doing whatever we want to do, but doing what we ought to do. In other words, when we live in accord with how we were created, being made in the image and likeness of God, we are most fully at peace and most fully free.

Think about it, if we believe that God created us, then it is in living in accord with God’s laws that we are most fully happy. No different from the child who does as their parents ask is most fully happy and fulfilled. It may seem unfair at the moment because we want what we want, but in the long run we know that this type of freedom that Christ offers will bring us true joy.

Freedom is a tricky thing because in allowing true freedom, God allows the possibility for sin and death. But as the Catechism reminds us in paragraph 1730, “God willed that man should be left in the hand of his own counsel, so that he might of his own accord seek his Creator and freely attain his full and blessed perfection by cleaving to him.” God gave us freedom in order that we might fully live in his life, that we might choose it, that we might want it. Let’s pray for the grace to use our intellect and will to make the right decisions that ultimately lead us to true peace and joy.

From all of us here at Diocesan, God bless!

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¡La vida no es justa! ¿Cuántas veces hemos escuchado o dicho esta frase en nuestra vida? Desde una edad temprana pensamos que el mundo no es justo y, a menudo, las figuras de autoridad en nuestras vidas rápidamente nos recuerdan ese hecho. Tal vez pensarías que sería diferente con Dios. Una vez que tengamos una conversión y entreguemos nuestras vidas a Cristo, esa vida sería justa de ahí en adelante, ¿verdad?

La primera lectura de hoy de Ezequiel deja en claro que la vida se vuelve justa cuando nos comprometemos con Cristo, pero tal vez no en la forma en que pensamos en la justicia. Como haría un Padre bueno y amoroso, Ezequiel nos recuerda que cuando nos quejamos de que la vida es injusta, quizás sea nuestra actitud la que necesita un cambio de paradigma. Nos recuerda que es nuestra forma de vida la que no es justa y por eso tenemos que lidiar con las consecuencias de nuestras acciones.

No es ningún secreto que el grito de batalla de las últimas generaciones ha sido la libertad. Queremos libertad para hacer lo que queramos, cuando queramos, a quien queramos, con pocas o ninguna consecuencia de nuestras acciones. El Señor nos da una nueva ruta hacia la verdadera libertad, no la libertad superficial que pensamos que satisfará pero que finalmente nos deja esclavizados. Yo diría, y creo que Ezequiel lo confirma, que la verdadera libertad no es tanto hacer lo que queremos hacer, sino hacer lo que debemos hacer. En otras palabras, cuando vivimos de acuerdo cómo fuimos creados, siendo hechos a imagen y semejanza de Dios, estamos más plenamente en paz y más plenamente libres.

Piénsalo, si creemos que Dios nos creó, entonces es viviendo de acuerdo con las leyes de Dios que somos más plenamente felices. No es diferente del niño que hace lo que sus padres le piden y es más feliz y pleno. Puede parecer injusto en este momento porque queremos lo que queremos, pero a la larga sabemos que este tipo de libertad que ofrece Cristo nos traerá el verdadero gozo.

La libertad es algo engañoso porque al permitir la verdadera libertad, Dios permite la posibilidad del pecado y la muerte. Pero como nos recuerda el Catecismo en el párrafo 1730, “Quiso Dios “dejar al hombre en manos de su propia decisión”, de modo que busque a su Creador sin coacciones y, adhiriéndose a Él, llegue libremente a la plena y feliz perfección.” Dios nos dio la libertad para que vivamos plenamente en su vida, para que la elijamos y para que la deseemos. Oremos por la gracia de usar nuestro intelecto y voluntad para tomar las decisiones correctas que finalmente nos lleven a la verdadera paz y alegría.

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: Piret Ilver, unsplash.com/photos/98MbUldcDJY