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 CHRISM MASS 2019

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Call to Continuing Conversion and Rite of Election 2019

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May 19, 2019

May 5, 2019

April 21, 2019 Easter Sunday

 

 

    The Dead Sea Scrolls series

 

   St. Nicholas School, Kinsley, Advent Cantata, Dec. 7, 2008

 

   

 

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Receiving the magical, miraculous gifts of Christmas

By David Gibson
Catholic News Service

Is there something magical in Christmas gifts? Children think so.
As if struck by a holiday contagion, children hunt feverishly, furtively among the packages under the Christmas tree during the last days before the big day, hoping to learn precisely what magic awaits them there.
But what adults learned over time and children have yet to discover is that the most magical gifts on Christmas are not hidden under the tree.
Consider the 4-year-old’s Christmas gift, finely crafted for Mom or Dad under a preschool teacher’s watchful eye. Parents celebrate these gifts excitedly. True, the parents are happy at their child’s increased ability to cut out and glue rough drawings onto colorful construction paper. But isn’t it less the craft and far more the child that the parents celebrate when the gift is presented?
The child is the true gift here. And as Pope Francis might put it, the love between these parents and their child creates music in their home.
It is precisely this kind of music that households everywhere hope to play loudly on Christmas. They have the pope’s assurance that this music mixes well with home-based fun.
A family’s life together is filled with events of all kinds, Pope Francis observed when he spoke in October to an international pilgrimage of families. But he said that “if love is missing” in a family, joy is missing too, and “nothing is fun.”
For him, love is a gift, one to give and receive.
Pope Francis speaks of home life often. His thoughts on gifts and where to find them are noteworthy, too.
He is convinced that gifts await us in others. In a recent interview published in major Jesuit publications, he called attention to “what the Spirit has sown in the other as a gift for us.”
Both home life and gifts were on the pope’s mind last May when he visited the Casa Dono di Maria soup kitchen and women’s shelter inside the Vatican walls. The Missionaries of Charity, founded by Blessed Teresa of Kolkata, run the shelter.
As a home, the shelter itself is a gift, Pope Francis said. Calling it a home means it is a place of “warmth, affection” -- the kind of “love that can be felt in a family.”
A home is a crucial place where gifts are given and received, the pope made clear. For him, a home is “where life grows and can be fulfilled because it is a place in which every person learns to receive love and to give love.”
Pope Francis then affirmed that all the people encountered inside the homeless shelter are a “mutual gift” for each other.
First, there are the gifts of “hospitality, material and spiritual sustenance” given by those who work there, he observed. As a home, he said, the shelter is “a ‘school’ of charity, which instructs me to go encounter every person, not for profit but for love.”
Those working in the shelter are not its only gift givers, however. To locate all the gifts hidden there, it is essential to look to its homeless and hungry guests. To them, Pope Francis said:
“You are also a gift for this home and for the church. You tell us that to love God and neighbor is not something abstract, but profoundly concrete. It means seeing in every person the face of the Lord to be served. ... You are, dear brothers and sisters, the face of Jesus.”
In this home, this shelter, “one tries to love one’s neighbor, but also to allow oneself to be loved by one’s neighbor,” he said. Those “two attitudes,” he insisted, “go together.”
“The music ... of this home is love,” said Pope Francis.
His reflections on the exchange of gifts in a homeless shelter are food for thought at Christmas. Where will gifts for you or me be found this Christmas?
One thing is certain: You can take the Christmas out of gift giving, but you cannot take the gift giving out of Christmas!
I will enjoy gifts that come wrapped in colorful packages. And when I open something handmade for me by a grandchild, I will relish the gift while celebrating the giver far more.
Truth be told, however, to discover some of the finest gifts of Christmas, it is essential to do what the shepherds did the night Jesus was born: Be watchful.
The watchful shepherds were fearful when “the angel of the Lord appeared to them” (Lk 2:9-10). But soon, upon arriving in Bethlehem, their fears dissipated, replaced by excited joy.
It is a great gift when someone eases our fears or clears a space for hope.
Something as small as the smile on the right person’s face can be an amazing gift on Christmas. Someone else’s announced plan to make important, needed life changes might be received not as a magical gift, but a miraculous one.
So be watchful on Christmas. Be on the lookout for “what the Spirit has sown” in others as a gift for you.
Gibson served on Catholic News Service’s editorial staff for 37 years.

Past Issues

April 7, 2019

March 24, 2019

March 10, 2019

Feb. 24, 2019

Feb. 10, 2019

Jan. 27, 2019

Jan. 13, 2019

Dec. 23, 2018

Dec. 9, 2018

Nov. 25, 2018

Nov. 11, 2018

Oct. 28, 2018

Oct. 14, 2018

Sept. 16, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: 2018 Golf Classic; student athletes; physically challenged; Leonard Stegman; Lesson in forgiveness; Sending us on a mission

Sept. 2, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Priest crisis; Scandal; Opioid addictions; Seeds of Suicide; Leightons; St. Anne; Vincke; seminarians; Dominican Sisters; Stewardship Conference; Dead Sea Scrolls; PSR programs; Roe V. Wade

 

August 12, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Prayer and Action; Totus Tuus; Janee Bernal; Diana Ramirez; Heidy Ramirez; Bishop Gilmore honored for 20 years ministry; suicide; contraception and abortion; Dead Sea Scrolls; Humanae Vitae; certification in youth ministry; Chuck Weber; Cathedral rectory chapel; Sister Viola Heichelbech; Adam Urban

July 15, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Immigration Protest/Rally; Faith and Light Fiesta; Seeing the Dead Sea Scrolls; Corpus Christi procession; Prayers for priests; Sisters turn 100; Michael Brungardt; Gerald Vincke; Massacre in San Salvador; Action for Alex 

 

June 3, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Parish Pray for Priestly Vocations; Appeal reaches $10 million; Gangs; Seminarians; Pam Willis; Why I like being a priest; Happy Father's Day; Patricia Lujan; Tyler and Rachel Bennett; Adoption Protection Act.

May 20, 2018
KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Track meet; Beloved Sinners; Benjamin Martin retires; Smiles; Future of Fortune Telling; Hoisington mission; DofI; Getting Equipped; Spring Social; First Communion; Confirmation
KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Track meet; Beloved Sinners; Benjamin Martin retires; Smiles; Future of Fortune Telling; Hoisington mission; DofI; Getting Equipped; Spring Social; First Communion; Confirmation

May 6, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Archbishop Romero; Seeing, Touching, Tasting; Exhortation; Father Patrick Conroy; Happy Mother's Day; A child on your doorstep; Vibrant Ministries Grant; From the heart of a young father; Love Gives Life; Roman Holiday; Smartphone; retirement
Fossil Hunting

 

April 15, 2018

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Easter Vigil; Angelica Village; Colorado woman; The art of anger; Cimarron Couple; Staats; Adoption; 

Father Ultan Murphy anniversary; Coughlan; Spiritual Advisor to Hoodlums; Woman of Courage; Oration contest; Darcy Feist  

 

April 1, 2018

 

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Defending Adoption; Led by the Spirit; Knights; ABC Pregnancy Center;
Memorial of Mary; Homeless; Relics; Down syndrome abortion; Chrism Mass

 

March 18, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: SKYAC; Aleksandr Men; Fasting for Priestly Vocations; Uganda; School for deaf; Rannah Evetts; Oberle; Rachel and Doug Trombley; Oscar Romero; Paul VI; DACA

 

 

March 4, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Fasting for priestly vocations; Father Juan; Fasting and prayer;
Quest Weekend 2018; DACA; With God, anything is possible; Homelessness in our communities; Rhubarb, Kansas;
What's the point of fasting; Rite of Election; same-sex couples

 

Feb. 18, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Catholic Schools Week; Rachel Doll; Ellinwood; Great Bend; Garden City; Ness City; Dodge City; Sister Rita Schwarzenberger; Nigeria; Bishop Hermes; Fasting for Priestly Vocations; World Day for Consecrated Life; 50th Anniversary St. Dominic School; What will life be like in 50 years?

 

 

Feb. 4, 2018

 

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: March for Life; Tracy and Ross Smith; Adoption; Vibrant Ministries; Faith and Light;
Pro-Life; Mortal sin to discard elderly; DACA; Abortion; Dreamers; Human Trafficking

 

Jan. 21, 2018

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Louise Korbe; Anne Frank; Miep Gies; Home Heat; Father Solanus

 

Jan. 7, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Good news and kingdom living; dreamers; Sister Teresa Orozco; Infant Adoption; Elderly; a moral conundrum; seminarian; feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

 

 

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