CACINA

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Readings: Zechariah Chapter 2 verses 14-17 / Psalm: Judith Chapter 13:18BCDE, 19 / Luke Chapter 1 verses 26-47.

Truth be told. This feast was a story that was imbedded within the people of the land already that was part of their makeup. Mary in her apparition appearing to Juan Diego showed the indigenous people that they were not alone. God was with them and the people saw that they were not forgotten. Mary is our mother and protector for all the Americas. She is the patroness of  most countries. During the Eucharistic prayer the words said are ‘Mary, the virgin mother of God…’ or alternate words said are ‘Mary, the mother of Jesus…’.  Or we can say, ‘Mary the mother of Jesus and our spiritual mother…’ Blessings.

+Michael Theogene

Tuesday of the Second Week of Advent

Tuesday of the Second Week of Advent

Readings: Isaiah Chapter 40 verses 1-11 / Psalm 96 verses 1-3AB, and 10AC, 11-13 / Matthew Chapter 18 verses 12-14.

Friends, I read this somewhere.

Meditation / Scripture: “Like a shepherd God feeds the flock; in God’s arms the lambs are gathered. Carrying them close to the bosom and leading the ewes with care”.

There is a story told of a 2nd grade teacher who believed in memorization. She worked diligently with her twenty students, especially in having them learn by heart their prayers and passages from scripture. A big challenge was the 23rd Psalm.

After weeks of work, the day for recitation came. Little Jim got up and began “The Lord (pause) is (longer pause) my shepherd (silence). His mind went blank and he sat down and muttered: “That’s all you to know”.

Could it be that Jimmy was right? Maybe all we have to know is that God is our shepherd, feeding, gathering, carrying and leading us on the journey of life. And if there is any doubt here, Jesus came as the good shepherd who will leave the 99 and go in search of anyone who is lost or who has strayed. God does pursue us “down the nights and down the days” as poet Francis Thompson believed. And, of course, all 100 sheep stand in need of redemption, such being the human condition.

In his study of Jesus, the theologian Romano Guardini writes, “The whole purpose of Jesus’ life is to replace our human conceptions of God; not only the primitive, grotesque but also the highest and purest and most refined”. Philosophers have spoken of God as “First Cause”. Theologians tell us that God is the “Ground of our being” or “Ultimate truth”.

Jesus shows us who God is by showing compassion, forgiveness and his loving way of life. God is the good shepherd made present and manifest in Jesus.

 

Meditation: How has your image of God changed over the years? In what sense is God a good shepherd to you and your family?

Prayer: Jesus, you are our brother and friend, our Redeemer, our good shepherd. If we truly know and believe this, we will put greater reliance of your saving grace. You know our weakness. We all stray, when we are lost, please search us out and bring us home.

 

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Readings: Genesis Chapter 3 verses 9-15, 20 / Psalm 98 verses 1, 2-3AB, 3CD-4 / Ephesians Chapter 1 verses 3-6, 11-12 / Luke Chapter 1 verses 26-38.

Oh, Mary who conceived without sin! Pray for us that we may be worthy of the promises of Christ. What joy we have in knowing that Mary’s yes would have changed the world. God gives us all many chances and opportunities to be able to reveal God’s abundant love and forgiveness to those in our lives. Perhaps many women were asked and were afraid to say yes. God already knew who would say yes. God knew from the beginning that this Mary of Nazareth would be the Christ bearer, the ‘Theotokos’ as our Orthodox sisters and brothers refer to our blessed mother.  Mary because of her bringing to life the herald of God from womb to birth, walking with Jesus through his life, death, and resurrection, her body, living as a living tabernacle, helped in God’s plan to bring God’s love to our world. In this celebration, we refer to Mary as one who was born and conceived without sin.

We too hold God in our hearts. We too who have been born free from sin and cannot allow ourselves to be bogged down from the sins, the short comings of our families, thinking that they will stifle us from being who God has truly called us to be. That is just us putting up excuses and barriers in our way. Letting others get in our heads.

Friends, if we truly believe that the God of creation forgives sins and if we are truly sorry for our sins, when  we have failed to love, let us resolve ourselves to know that what we give birth to has merit. Has integrity. Has love. If we truly mean it. This day is special (December 8th), to me because I said yes to a local municipality government service job and retired twenty years later the same day. I was truly blessed and protected. I am truly grateful for this employment. I hope I gave birth to it in the way God intended. Blessings!

+ Michael

 

Second Sunday of Advent

Second Sunday of Advent

Saturday of the First Week of Advent

Saturday of the First Week of Advent

Readings: Isaiah Chapter 30 verses 19-21, 23-26 / Psalm 147: verses 1-6 / Matthew Chapter 9 verses 35- Chapter 10 verse 1, 5A, 6-8

Friends, I am reminded of the words spoken by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “All I want is to leave a committed life behind.” Friends we are all asked to come out of ourselves where we feel comfortable to embrace the uncomfortable. We are all asked to take up the mantle where we are invited to share the loving embrace that we have received, and not limit only to ourselves the grace bestowed upon us. We have been gifted by God to empower others as Jesus inspires us to bring God’s good news to those who need to hear it. Are we willing to be the Face of God  to those who have never encountered the presence of God in their midst?  Are we up for the challenge?

+Michael Theogene

Friday of the First Week of Advent

Friday of the First Week of Advent

Readings: Isaiah Chapter 29 verses 17-24 / Psalm 27 verses 1, 4, 13-14  / Matthew Chapter 9 verses 27-31

Why do we stop ourselves from God’s blessings? Sisters and Brothers, the God of creation  wants to shower  us with  abundant blessings, why do we doubt? It’s as if we say to ourselves that we are not worthy to receive God’s miracles. Jesus challenges us when he said, “Do you believe that I can do this?” If our answer is ‘yes’ then we are co healers by our faith.

+ Michael Theogene

Thursday of the First Week of Advent

Wednesday of the First Week of Advent

Readings: Isaiah Chapter 25 verses 6-10A  / Psalm 23 verses 1-3B, & 4-6 / Matthew Chapter 15 verses 29-37

 

Thursday of the First Week of Advent

Readings: Isaiah Chapter 26 verses 1-6 / Psalm 118 verses 1 & 8-9, 19-21, 25-27A  / Matthew Chapter 7 verses 21, 24-27

Sisters and brothers! Are we centered and cemented in God? What is our sure foundation when we are stumbling and find it difficult to have our footing? We must remind ourselves when we are shaken and find ourselves out of place that we need to stop and re-center ourselves.

No matter how hard or difficult the journey becomes, we must trust that God will always have our back whether or not we feel it or see it. It’s all about trust and faith. Faith is believing without seeing.  No matter what storms may come, the sun will shine again. It’s all about trust in God.

rev. Michael Theogene

Wednesday of the First Week of Advent

Tuesday of the First Week of Advent

Tuesday of the First Week of Advent

Readings: Isaiah Chapter 11 verses 1-10 / Psalm 72 verses 1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17 / Luke Chapter 10 verses 21-24

Sisters and Brothers I think we need to remember that when we approach God that it may be a good idea that we have to become childlike leaving ourselves open, vulnerable to allow God’s Spirit to enter so we may be able to at least begin to hear God speaking to us. We need not waste so much time trying to approach God with our adult selves with our preconceived notions. When we do that, we stifle our own selves as we hang on to our own agendas.  Preventing the Spirit to be able to work through us.

I think if we can tap into our inner child and approach God with childlike qualities holding on to that inner child, we can embrace God with simplicity, faith, and the opportunity to open our true selves to receive God’s blessing wanting to receive God and to know more of God. If we believe in the example of Jesus, God’s servant, and if we believe in how Jesus came to God and the way Jesus did it, then we will believe in Jesus and in the One who sent him. We too can and will know that this is far beyond us. A child has no care than other to be loved. We want to learn and come to that which will complete us. In the same manner we approach a parent(s) or someone we admire. We will live learning more about the world and in the process learn more about ourselves as we come to God with open arms.

rev. Michael