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Showing posts from December, 2013

New Year's Resolution: Being More Present to Discover All is Gift

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Happy New Year!  A time for resolutions?   We are proud to share this reflection on New Year's Resolutions by our good friend, Maryknoll collaborator and JustFaith Grad, Dave McKeown, who reflects on how his learning that he has ALS led to him to resolve to be more mindful and present.   In many ways, Dave's resolution is at the core of mission.   Through mindfulness and being present, we discover not only God's mission of love, but that all is gift, and that God invites us to join in that mission of love regardless of our age, health or circumstances.  In each moment we have the ability to be part of the great adventure of love.  Thanks Dave, you inspire all of us!

Many of us think of New Year's as a time to reflect on what has happened to us in the past year and look ahead toward the future. Like many people, I've used New Year's to set goals for family, health and career. For the most part, it didn't really bother me much if I didn't keep a resolutio…

Merry Christmas!

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A Table Blessing Prayer for Christmas

Holy One! Gracious God. Whose breath of love Brought forth all of creation. We gather on this holy day in joy, To remember, and to celebrate How your love knows no bounds or limits.
To  show us your love, You became one of us. In a poor baby born thousands of years ago In backward place, to unknown people In an irregular family situation.
Yet through Jesus you showed us Your plan for creation; A kingdom of love and justice Where peace prevails and right relationship reigns.
As we gather at our feast this day, With our family and friends, Send your blessing on us and our food. Fill us with your joy so that your love Bubbles out of us and rains down On everyone we encounter.
Keep us mindful that all is gift. Let us not forget our brothers and sisters who go this day without food. May your love reach them through our generosity.
May everyday this year Be for us Christmas A time, again and again, When you are born in each of us To be your face of love In the world around us.

Mission Begins At Home: Holiday Letter from Jesus' Grandparents

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We've been talking quite a bit this past year about how the "ground zero" for mission is the family. If we don't experience God's love there, it is increasingly difficult to be aware of it later on.  Below is story that was preached today at St. John's by the pastor, Fr. Mike, where we have our San Lorenzo Mission House.  In addition to being an entertaining story, it underscores that the primary missionaries in the story of God becoming one of us are parents and grandparents.  And, a great reminder to all of us, that our missionary efforts begin at home, even in the messiness of our sometimes dysfunctional and not so normal families.

The annual family "Holiday" letter from Joachim and Anna:

Dear friends and family. This will be late, as usual, and again we apologize for this impersonal way of summing up the year for you. The big news is that Mary is expecting. It was a surprise to everyone, even poor Joseph. She is due in December, the worst possi…

My Advent Encounter Today with Jesus in the Generosity of a Man Named Thomas (and his invisible wife)

I am always amazed and humbled by the generosity of the poor. Today when I arrived at our Regional Mission House there was a disheveled man in the parking lot who wanted my attention. I was in a hurry to get to my office for a conference call. I avoided my initial temptation to ignore him and somewhat exasperatedly started listening to him. He was not very coherent, but I soon learned that he was there with his wife, who was invisible to everyone but him. He would stop every now and then to include her in our conversation. He could not understand why others could not see her, which was a shame because she quite beautiful.

I was growing impatient waiting for him to ask for whatever he was going to ask me for. I was expecting it would be money.  I wanted to quickly give him a few bucks so that I could get on with my day.  But he never asked me for anything. Finally I said to him, “What do you want, what do you need?” He said nothing, he was just waiting for the bus to come an…

Sowing Seeds in the Era of Pope Francis

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As my awareness of the world expands, so too does my awareness of the depth and breadth of suffering that people face. For all the joy of entering into loving relationship with others, listening to their stories, being welcomed at their tables, there is also a sobering realization of how much hurt, pain, and need exists, and how limited I am in addressing that.

One of the most potent Gospel passages for me in confronting this overwhelming reality is The Compassion of Jesus (Matthew 9:35-38): Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”

What I love about this passage is how perfectly it …