Saturday, May 30, 2009

Take me out to the Ball Game!

I guess in today's hectic world we easily lose site of what is important and what is really meaningful. Such as our faith for one but also family.
Today I get to celebrate my family a little and really appreciate how lucky I am. Turning 50 in April my oldest son who does not live at home as he is on his own and works in the big city bought me 3 tickets to the Red Sox and Blue Jays game for today. Yes although being somewhat of a Jays fan ( who can forget the 2 World Series wins) but before the Jays I grew up watching the NBC Saturday afternoon games and fell in love with the Sox and my heart has been in Boston. It seems number 1 son remembered how the old man loves Big Pappi, Mike Lowell, Jason Varitek etc. So needless to say I am excited as it is the boys day out as my younger son joins us.
But through all the eager anticipation of the game I truly realize how blessed I am with my family and thank God for that.
Now "Play Ball"

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Soccer Tragedy

For those of you here in North America who only hear about violence amongst soccer fans in Europe below you will see a shocking story I found here in my local paper.
It is amazing how soccer support transcends religious, class, social political lines. Many fans are basically raised in the environment of feverish support for their club to the point of dying for the club. Sadly many also do not care about the game but just use the guise of supporter for their hooliganism.
I will relate a story in another post of a game I attended last year in Hungary and the experience I had there. In the meantime here is the article,

DUBLIN – Militant Protestant supporters of a Scottish soccer team beat to death a Roman Catholic man in the latest sign of how sports rivalries inspire sectarian bloodshed in Northern Ireland, police and politicians said yesterday.

Witnesses said more than 20 Protestant supporters of Glasgow Rangers, many of them wearing the team's blue-and-white jerseys and scarves, drove into a Catholic district of the town of Coleraine after Rangers clinched the Scottish Premier League championship Sunday.

Billy Leonard, a former policeman and politician from the Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein, said several carloads of anti-Catholic extremists came armed with clubs "and literally attacked the first person they came across."

Kevin McDaid, 49, was fatally bludgeoned while his wife, Evelyn, and a 46-year-old Catholic neighbour, Damien Fleming, were both injured. Fleming was reported in critical condition. Police said they arrested seven men on suspicion of involvement in the attack. A Presbyterian minister in the town, the Rev. Alan Johnston, said Rangers supporters were drinking heavily while watching Sunday's Rangers victory at pubs in central Coleraine and then drove across a bridge to the Catholic area, Somerset Drive.

A Catholic politician in the town, John Dallat, accused an outlawed Protestant paramilitary group, the Ulster Defence Association, of responsibility. Rangers enjoy support exclusively from the British Protestant side of the community in Northern Ireland, while archrival Glasgow Celtic draws support only from the Irish Catholics.

Those sectarian allegiances fuel street fighting, and occasionally worse, in both Glasgow and across Northern Ireland, particularly when the two teams play each other or when the annual league championship – typically won by one of the two – is determined. Celtic, league champions the previous three years, finished second Sunday.

The officer leading the murder investigation, Det. Chief Insp. Frankie Taylor, appealed to the Catholic minority in the town not to retaliate. Taylor said the dead man had four children, did volunteer youth work in the town, and was "a man who would do anything for anybody."

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday Catch Up

I have just noticed that I have not contributed much lately outside of the Sunday readings. It has been an interesting few weeks and I have had struggles in my journey back. Somedays it seems I am not sure where I am at and where I am to go. The only thing I know is I want to get deeper into my faith and learn but sometimes I feel I am only scratching the surface and realize how big the surface is and this at times is a deterrent.
Maybe it is because of the world we live in and time is never on ones side. Always in a hurry and always needing things to be immediate and final then with no lingering incompleteness.
I have realized that there is lot to this journey of faith one to learn and a lot of soul searching. I also realize that just because I help at my parish, with the projection screen the collections whatever else they might need and have developed a small website for our parish this too only scratches the surface in my relationship with God and Jesus.
Certainly at times it is hard for me to accept this but I know in my heart that I must get deeper. We will see and I will keep reading other blogs to get some insight to how others have struggled.
Now on to the Sunday reading for this week.

Acts 1:1-11

Eph 4:1-13

Mk 16:15-20

Ascension Sunday

1st Reading: Acts 1:1-11

In the first part of my work, Theophilus, I wrote of all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day when he ascended to heaven.
But first he had instructed through the Holy Spirit the apostles he had chosen. After his passion, he presented himsealf to them, giving many signs that he was alive; over a period of forty days he appeared to them and taught them concerning the kingdom of God. Once when he had been eating with them, he told them, "Do not leave Jerusalem but wait for the fulfillment of the Father's promise about which I have spoken to you: John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit within a few days."
When they had come together, they asked him, "Is it now that you will restore the Kingdom of Israel?" And he answered, "It is not for you to know the time and the steps that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the earth."
After Jesus said this, he was taken up before their eyes and a cloud hid him from their sight. While they were still looking up to heaven where he went, suddenly, two men dressed in white stood beside them and said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking up at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken from you into heaven, will return in the same way as you have seen him go there."

Psalm 103:1-2,11-12, 19-20

1 Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
19 The LORD has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word!

2nd Reading: Eph 4:1-13

I, a prisoner of Christ, invite you to live the vocation you have received. Be humble, kind, patient, and bear with one another in love.
Make every effort to keep among you the unity of Spirit through bonds of peace. Let there be one body and one spirit, for God, in calling you, gave the same Spirit to all. One Lord, one faith, one baptism. One God, the Father of all, who is above all and works through all and is in all.
But to each of us divine grace is given according to the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore it is said: When he ascended to the heights, he brought captives and gave his gifts to people.
He ascended, what does it mean but that he had also descended to the lower parts of the world? Himself who went down, then ascended far above all the heavens to fill all things. As for his gifts, to some he gave to be apostles, to others prophets, or even evangelists, or pastors and teachers. So he prepared those who belong to him for the ministry, in order to build up the Body of Christ, until we are all united in the same faith and knowledge of the Son of God. Thus we shall become the perfect Man, upon reaching maturity and sharing the fullness of Christ.

Gospel: Mk 16:15-20

Jesus said, "Go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News to all creation. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; the one who refuses to believe will be condemned. Signs like these will accompany those who have believed: in my Name they will cast out demons and speak new languages; they will pick up snakes and, if they drink anything poisonous, they will be unharmed. They will lay their hands on the sick and they will be healed."
So then, after speaking to them, the Lord Jesus was taken up into heaven and took his place at the right hand of God. The Eleven went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that accompanied them.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday Reading

1st Reading: Acts 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48 :
As Peter was about to enter, Cornelius went to him, fell on his knees and bowed low. But Peter lifted him up saying, "Stand up, for I too am a human being." Peter then spoke to them, "Truly, I realize that God does not show partiality, but in all nations he listens to everyone who fears God and does good." Peter was still speaking when the Holy Spirit came upon all who listened to the Word. And the believers of Jewish origin who had come with Peter were amazed, "Why! God gives and pours the Holy Spirit on foreigners also!" For indeed this happened: they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter declared, "Can we refuse to baptize with water these people who have received the Holy Spirit, just as we have?" So he had them baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. After that they asked him to remain with them for some days.

Psalm 98:1-4:
1 O sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have gotten him victory.
2 The LORD has made known his victory, he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations.
3 He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.
4 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises!

2nd Reading: 1 Jn 4:7-10:
My dear friends, let us love one another for love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Those who do not love have not known God, for God is love. How did the love of God appear among us? God sent his only Son into this world that we might have life through him. This is love: not that we loved God but that he first loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Gospel: Jn 15:9-17:
Jesus said to his disciples, "As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; remain in my love. You will remain in my love if you keep my commandments, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and remain in his love. "I have told you all this, that my own joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you. There is no greater love than this, to give one's life for one's friends; and you are my friends if you do what I command you. "I shall not call you servants any more, because servants do not know what their master is about. Instead I have called you friends, since I have made known to you everything I learned from my Father. "You did not choose me; it was I who chose you and sent you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last. And everything you ask the Father in my name, he will give you. "This is my command, that you love one another."

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sunday Readings

I am starting something new and that will be to post the Sunday readings. It kind of dawned on me this morning as part of my morning ritual I always go through the readings of the day and for some reason today's second reading really hit me and opened my eyes. I hope you enjoy this little extra from me.

5th Sunday of Easter

1st Reading : Acts 9:26-31
When Saul came to Jerusalem , he tried to join the disciples there, but they were afraid of him because they could not believe that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He recounted to them how Saul had seen the Lord on his way and the words the Lord had spoken to him. He told them also how Saul had preached boldly in the name of Jesus. Then Saul began to live with them. He moved about freely in Jerusalem and preached openly in the name of the Lord. He also spoke to the Hellenists and argued with them, but they wanted to kill him. When the believers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus . Meanwhile, the Church had peace. It was building up throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria with eyes turned to the Lord and filled with comfort from the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 22:25-31
25 From thee comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will pay before those who fear him.
26 The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the LORD! May your hearts live for ever!
27 All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD; and all the families of the nations shall worship before him.
28 For dominion belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations.
29 Yea, to him shall all the proud of the earth bow down; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, and he who cannot keep himself alive.
30 Posterity shall serve him; men shall tell of the Lord to the coming generation,
31 and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn, that he has wrought it.

2nd Reading : 1 Jn 3:18-24
My dear children, let us love not only with words and with our lips, but in truth and in deed. Then we shall know that we are of the truth and we may calm our conscience in his presence. Every time it reproaches us, let us say: God is greater than our conscience, and he knows everything. When our conscience does not condemn us, dear friends, we may have complete confidence in God. Then whatever we ask we shall receive, since we keep his commands and do what pleases him. His command is that we believe in the Name of his Son Jesus Christ and that we love one another, as he has commanded us. Whoever keeps his commands remains in God and God in him. It is by the Spirit God has given us that we know he lives in us.

Gospel: Jn 15:1-8
Jesus said to his disciples, "I am the true vine and my Father is the vinegrower. If any of my branches doesn't bear fruit, he breaks it off; and he prunes every branch that does bear fruit, that it may bear even more fruit. "You are already made clean by the word I have spoken to you; live in me as I live in you. The branch cannot bear fruit by itself but has to remain part of the vine; so neither can you if you don't remain in me. "I am the vine and you are the branches. As long as you remain in me and I in you, you bear much fruit; but apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not remain in me is thrown away as they do with branches and they wither. Then they are gathered and thrown into the fire and burned. "If you remain in me and my words in you, you may ask whatever you want and it will be given to you. My Father is glorified when you bear much fruit: it is then that you become my disciples."

Please take time also to reflect in these words. Enjoy your Sunday!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The World continues to crumble

Just one more example of how basic values have taken hits in the recent weeks.

.- Governor of Maine, John Baldacci, signed a bill today making Maine the fifth state to allow same-sex marriage.

The bill passed in the House of Representatives yesterday and was approved in the Senate today to allow marriage between two people, instead of defining it as between one man and one woman, according to Fox News.

The bill was then quickly signed today by the state's Democratic governor.

Republican Senator Debra Plowman opposed the bill saying that it was passed “at the expense of the people of faith.”

She cautioned: “You are making a decision that is not well-founded.”

Fox News also reported that Senate Majority Leader Philip Bartlett II said that redefinition of marriage does not force any religion to recognize same-sex “marriage saying: “We respect all religious liberties.”

According to the Diocese of Portland, Maine, last month Bishop Richard Malone testified before the Judiciary Committee asking them to uphold traditional marriage.

He noted that in nearly every culture,” marriage is “a social institution with the primary purpose of ensuring that the next generation grows up in a secure, loving, balanced environment… guided by both male and female parents. Children learn different traits from both genders.”

“What message do we send to children when an institution as vital as marriage can be irrevocably altered simply because a particular group demands it?” he asked. “Redefining a social institution as important as marriage gives precedent to future redefinitions, further weakening it.”

He also recognized that traditional marriage today often “falls short its ideals,” but explained that “redefining it will make our problems worse, not better.”

Maine joins the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and Iowa in allowing same-sex “marriages.” The New Hampshire House is also scheduled to vote on a similar bill today.

Now here is a quote to really absorb from Pope John Paul II;

"As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live." Pope John Paul II

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Just a littlle something

It is amazing how as I try to learn all about my faith and absorb it you always find more and more beauty in it. For example the Psalms are really something that I have started to enjoying reading. I find a lot of truth and comfort in the words.
Hers is the Psalm for today, read, reflect and enjoy!

Psalm 118:1,8-9,21- 23,26-29

1 O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his steadfast love endures for ever!
8 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to put confidence in man.
9 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.
21 I thank thee that thou hast answered me and hast become my salvation.
22 The stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner.
23 This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
26 Blessed be he who enters in the name of the LORD! We bless you from the house of the LORD.
27 The LORD is God, and he has given us light. Bind the festal procession with branches, up to the horns of the altar!
28 Thou art my God, and I will give thanks to thee; thou art my God, I will extol thee.
29 O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures for ever!