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Diocese of Ogdensburg

Evangelization

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Joy-Filled, Intentional, Missionary Disciples of Jesus Christ
So that On Fire with the Holy Spirit
They will be witnesses that transform the culture around them.

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WORD FOR THE WEEK: FEBRUARY 16

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FEBRUARY 16   SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME  

Readings: Sir 15:15-20/1 Cor 2:6-10/Mt 5:17-37 or 5:20-22a, 27-28, 33-34a, 37

Today's gospel speaks about not just external observance of the law, but also about conforming our interior lives to God's will.  It is easy to put on a good show so that from the outside we look like good Christians.  Faith should not be reduced to just an empty routine.  Can we truly worship God and be in communion with him when we look down on those He loves as not good enough or not worthy?  We are called to conform our heart and will to his and to love all whom he loves… Is there someone with whom you need to reconcile?

WORD FOR THE WEEK:FEBRUARY 9

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FEBRUARY 9   FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME  

Readings: Is 58:7-10/1 Cor 2:1-5/Mt 5:13-16

Today's readings remind me of Pope Francis.  Our faith isn't just rituals done right and staying in our comfort zone.  Our faith and worship must lead us out to others and reach out to the poor, the hungry, those who are on the margins.  It is our good deeds done out of love for God that others will see, leading them to glorify our heavenly Father. We are called to be salt of the earth and the light of the world, but that means we must go out to the world and not hide our faith from others. 

WORD FOR THE WEEK: FEBRUARY 2

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FEBRUARY 2   THE PRESENTATION OF THE LORD  

Feast

Readings: Mal 3:1-4/Heb 2:14-18/Lk 2:22-40 or 2:22-32

On this feast it is the first time that we see Jesus in the Temple.  Simeon, who has been waiting for the Messiah his entire life, gives us the beautiful prayer which is prayed in the Night Prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours: Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace…for my eyes have seen your salvation which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples, a light for the revelation to the Gentiles and the glory for your people Israel. This blind man sees the light, but also knows that this light is a sign of contradiction. Some will follow him, others will deny him, holding on to their own designs rather than submitting to the King of Kings.   We ourselves struggle between following him and selfishly going our own way.  And so we pray for God's grace. At night we examine how we have cooperated with that grace.  As we continue to conform our lives evermore to Jesus, we come to recognize the free gift of grace and mercy in our lives and so are able to share the good news of his mercy with those we meet.

Resource of the Week: Online Lenten Resources

 

Last week I posted some books and publications that you might like to consider for Lent. Of course, there are many resources available online for free.  Here is a sampling:

 

loyola press online

Loyola Press has online Lenten Resources HERE.  You can sign up for daily email reflections, do an online retreat, what Lenten video reflections etc.   If you are still trying to figure out what to do for Lent this year, there are some wonderful articles on how to prepare for Lent, some things to consider. 

 

ncea

If you are a teacher or a parent, the NCEA has resources for Lent to help your students. There are free resources, activities for children, Lenten calendars with ideas for daily prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

 

usccb

Of course, the USCCB has a site dedicated to lent .  There are links to a printable Lenten Calendar, Lenten prayers, videos, reflections and questions and answers about Lent, Ways to evangelize during Lent and much more. Especially helpful are the resources for making a good confession. See the short video below:

 

 

dynamic

Dynamic Catholic this year once again has their daily video program.  You can sign up HERE to have the short daily video sent to your email.

 

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And of course, Bishop Barron and Word on Fire has the daily email reflections for Lent.  All that you need to do is sign up with an email address.

 

 

 

RESOURCE OF THE WEEK: Ash Wednesday is one Month from Sunday!

Are You Ready For Lent?

Yes, we just finished Christmas.  You are probably still finding needles from your Christmas tree and random ornaments that you forgot to take down around the house.  The altar at church may still be surrounded by poinsettias … but Lent is coming. Are you ready? 

For many Catholics who may not attend Mass regularly, there may be a variety of reasons, that draw them to Church to "receive ashes."  Is there something this Lent at our parish that we can invite them to?  Perhaps nothing too intense, but something to get them connected to the community?  An invitation to a Lenten Luncheon.  Ask them to join you at adoration on a Wednesday or Friday. If not, even just saying hello to people you haven't seen in a while and welcoming them as they arrive can mean a great deal. And if they are nostalgic enough to come get ashes, perhaps they might be interested in Stations of the Cross, daily Mass … invite them, personally.

The other thing that can be helpful is to have some resources available that they, and regular parishioners, can take home. Our Word Among Us will be available soon for families to take home for daily reflection.

Some suggested resources:

Lent salvation

From Augustine Institute: Salvation: What Every Catholic Should Know 

This is a good book for the average Catholic who wants to know more about the faith.   At the time of this writing, I have not yet seen a copy, but it available for pre-order (and is affordable in bulk!).  The author is Michael Barber who has written other books that I have appreciated, such as his books on St. Paul and on the Psalms.

 

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The Ascension Press Lenten Companion:  This is a daily meditation booklet for Lent. Each day had a scripture verse and meditation and then offers a scripture passage (you will need your own bible) followed by a prayer/meditation/journaling prompt.    What is nice about this particular meditation booklet is that it also comes with 5 supplemental video reflections that are available online.

LEntBLE

Dynamic Catholic offers this year's version of Best Lent Ever Journal.  It is a simple journal, focussing each day on a particular topic, then suggesting a daily video (available online at BestLentEver.com) and prompts to help you journal your own reflections. The Journal this year is based on the book Rediscover the Saints and each day also includes recommended reading from that book as well as scripture passages, but the journal also works well without that additional reading. 

 

Ave Maria Press has a great selection of Lenten material.  Two suggestions would be:

 

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The Living Gospel: Daily Devotions for Lent by Dcn. Greg Kandra: Daily reflections on the Gospel of the day by a great writer.

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Lent: One Day at a time for Catholic Teens by Katie Prejean McGrady and Tommy McGrady

Daily meditations, prayers and challenges for teens by experienced Youth Ministers that truly meets teenagers where they are at.  Katie Prejean is also the author of Follow: Your Lifelong Adventure with Jesus which one the 2019 Assoc. of Catholic Publisher Awards in Teen Books.  She also hosted the 2019 NCYC.

 

 

LENT LGR 2020 Stack and Single SHOPIFY

Of Course, Bishop Barron and Word on Fire offers Lenten Gospel Reflections .  Each day has the full Gospel reading and a short reflection by Bishop Barron and journaling pages.  The book also includes a Stations of the Cross.  You can get one for free (just pay for shipping and handling.)

 

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Little Black Book for Lent - published by the Diocese of Saginaw are wonderful little prayer books .  Each day walks you through the Sunday Gospels, and also has quotes, information and thoughts.  The idea is that the booklet has no title on the cover, so you can read it anywhere without feeling self-conscious that you are reading a "religious" book.   Each daily prayer can take as little as 6 minutes … and everyone can find six minutes in their day.

 

 

Next week, we will review some online resources and apps.