News from US Franciscans

Friars Vote to Recommend One US Province

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Voicing their support for the revitalization of Franciscan life in the US, six provinces of the Order of Friars Minor have voted to form one new organization. On May 30, the friars of each of the six provinces voted at meetings in their communities...

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Religious Brothers Day

The second annual Religious Brothers Day is being held today, May 1, 2018, on the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker. Rooting his life deeply in God, the Brother consecrates all creation, recognizing the presence of God and the Spirit’s action in creation, in cultures...

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Franciscans March for Our Lives

A number of Franciscans joined hundreds of thousands of people at the March for Our Lives here on Saturday, March 24. Other Franciscans marched in one of the hundreds of similar marches around the world.

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Merry Christmas 2017

t happened, three years prior to his death, that St. Francis of Assisi decided to celebrate at the town of Greccio the memory of the birth of the Child Jesus with the greatest possible solemnity, in order to arouse devotion. So that...

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Ite Vos Conference to be Streamed

In 1217, Pope Leo X issued the bull “Ite vos,” also known as the “Bulla unionis,” which divided the Franciscan order into two separate families: the Friars Minor of the Regular Observance and the Friars Minor Conventual. On Saturday, Nov. 4, over 100 OFM, OFM...

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News from US Franciscans

Friars Vote to Recommend One US Province

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Voicing their support for the revitalization of Franciscan life in the US, six provinces of the Order of Friars Minor have voted to form one new organization. On May 30, the friars of each of the six provinces voted at meetings in their communities...

read more

Religious Brothers Day

The second annual Religious Brothers Day is being held today, May 1, 2018, on the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker. Rooting his life deeply in God, the Brother consecrates all creation, recognizing the presence of God and the Spirit’s action in creation, in cultures...

read more

Recent #FriarFriday Reflections

#FriarFriday – Borders

Twenty-five years ago I helped grow the new Franciscan presence at the United Nations by developing interest among Franciscan Friars around the world.

read more

#FriarFriday – Facing Racism

Well, somebody got the timing right: January 15 is designated by the OFM Franciscans of the English-speaking world as the annual Day of Prayer to End Racism. Landing on a Monday morning, I can only say, “Good timing!”

read more

Recent #FriarFriday Reflections

#FriarFriday – Borders

Twenty-five years ago I helped grow the new Franciscan presence at the United Nations by developing interest among Franciscan Friars around the world.

read more

News from the OFM English-speaking Conference

ofm.org posts

Merry Christmas 2017

t happened, three years prior to his death, that St. Francis of Assisi decided to celebrate at the town of Greccio the memory of the birth of the Child Jesus with the greatest possible solemnity, in order to arouse devotion. So that...

read more

Conference meets with General Definitorium | Fall Newsletter

ENGLISH SPEAKING CONFERENCE | ORDER OF FRIARS MINOR                                                                                                         Thomas S. Washburn, OFMPO Box 61128  • New Bedford, Massachusetts 02746 • exec@escofm.org                       ...

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US Franciscans look to future renewal with hope

each made simple statements of why they voted as they did:Kevin Mullen, of Holy Name Province, said, “One new Province provides us with the opportunity to have a vital fraternal experience.  With regard to mission, one new Province allows us to take the core values of...

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US Franciscans statement on Charlottesville violence

8/17/2017 0 Comments FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | August 2017 As followers of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron of peace, we, the Franciscans Friars of the United States join with the many public and religious leaders and fellow-citizens who have condemned the recent...

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Merry Christmas 2017

t happened, three years prior to his death, that St. Francis of Assisi decided to celebrate at the town of Greccio the memory of the birth of the Child Jesus with the greatest possible solemnity, in order to arouse devotion. So that...

read more

Conference meets with General Definitorium | Fall Newsletter

ENGLISH SPEAKING CONFERENCE | ORDER OF FRIARS MINOR                                                                                                         Thomas S. Washburn, OFMPO Box 61128  • New Bedford, Massachusetts 02746 • exec@escofm.org                       ...

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News from the General Curia in Rome

ofm.org posts

Fraternitas 07.2018 (No. 257)

The July 2018 edition of ‘Fraternitas’ is now online and can be downloaded in several languages. PDF:  English – Español – Italiano – Deutsch  – Français – Português DOC:  English – Español – Italiano –Deutsch  – Français – Português...

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PCO Chronicles: Monday 25 June & Tuesday 26 June

Monday 25 June We began our day with a short prayer session followed by a sense of gratitude to God for allowing experience Him in the last two days with the poor in Gipsy slum and in nature with the visit to Nairobi National Part. Br. John Puodziunas, the General...

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Beyond the PCO —What Next?

It’s hard to imagine that only two days remain before the Plenary Council comes to an end! So the big question as we leave Nairobi is, what comes next? The purpose of the Plenary Council, as expressed in article 194 of the General Constitutions, is to provide...

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The Friars as Modern-Day Mendicants

History tells us that the Franciscan Order, along with other medieval Orders, began as a mendicant Order — or, more simply, a band of beggars! These Orders represented a counterculture, challenging the prevailing culture that gave priority to an individual’s financial...

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PCO Chronicles: Saturday 23 June

Today began as usual with a brief moment of prayer, and then we worked in groups continuing to allow ourselves to be questioned and challenged by reality and finding ways to live out our Franciscan charism. The first theme dealt with today concerned “evangelization in...

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PCO Chronicles: Friday 22 June

After the serene and joyful celebration of Morning Prayer and the Eucharist we enjoyed the much-needed morning freshness. Congratulations and condolences were shared with the friars directly involved in last night’s soccer match and then we set to work. Yesterday the...

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Fraternitas 07.2018 (No. 257)

The July 2018 edition of ‘Fraternitas’ is now online and can be downloaded in several languages. PDF:  English – Español – Italiano – Deutsch  – Français – Português DOC:  English – Español – Italiano –Deutsch  – Français – Português...

read more

News from our Facebook Page

News from our Facebook Page

Local US Franciscan News

#WhyWait Book Your September Pilgrimage:
Travel to the spot of the Transfiguration, watch pilgrims renew their wedding vows in Cana, and then board a boat and sail through the Sea of Galilee. Touch the spot where Jesus was born in Bethlehem and follow the Via Dolorosa while carrying the cross to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Details: bit.ly/2rrz0hF
... See MoreSee Less

#WhyWait Book Your September Pilgrimage:
Travel to the spot of the Transfiguration, watch pilgrims renew their wedding vows in Cana, and then board a boat and sail through the Sea of Galilee. Touch the spot where Jesus was born in Bethlehem and follow the Via Dolorosa while carrying the cross to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Details: bit.ly/2rrz0hF

We asked our Jubilarians:
What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?

Fr. Valentine Young, OFM, 70 Years Profession
“The advice that I should give to my 20-year-old self is the advice I learned from Fr. Ignatius Brady, OFM (Our Master of Clerics at DSC), when I was 20 years old or even younger. Quoting Thomas of Celano’s description of St. Francis’ living of the religious life, he said Francis was “semper novus”– always new. That is how I should be, regardless of whether I am 20 years old or 87 years old.”
More Jubilarians answer the question at: http://franciscan.org/who-we-are/…
... See MoreSee Less

We asked our Jubilarians:
What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?Fr. Valentine Young, OFM, 70 Years Profession
“The advice that I should give to my 20-year-old self is the advice I learned from Fr. Ignatius Brady, OFM (Our Master of Clerics at DSC), when I was 20 years old or even younger. Quoting Thomas of Celano’s description of St. Francis’ living of the religious life, he said Francis was “semper novus”– always new. That is how I should be, regardless of whether I am 20 years old or 87 years old.”
More Jubilarians answer the question at: http://franciscan.org/who-we-are/friar-voices-blog#jubilarians-2018

 

Comment on Facebook

Congratulations

God Bless you Fr Valentine God bless those you care for all theses years !!!!

Catholic photographers Deirdre McQuade and Fr. Greg Friedman, OFM, are hosting a prayer and photography retreat at the Monastery on July 28! Grab your camera or phone and register here: bit.ly/2J7SPk5 ... See MoreSee Less

Catholic photographers Deirdre McQuade and Fr. Greg Friedman, OFM, are hosting a prayer and photography retreat at the Monastery on July 28! Grab your camera or phone and register here: bit.ly/2J7SPk5

 

Comment on Facebook

Still lots of room for participants! We'd love to welcome you.--Fr. Greg

What a wonderful opportunity!

Just registered!

Fun!

14 hours ago

Franciscan Monastery

Today, in Jerusalem and here in Washington, D.C., the Franciscans of the #HolyLand celebrate the solemn feast of the Dedication of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the central shrine of all Christendom, in Jerusalem. Watch to learn more from Fr. Greg Friedman, OFM: ... See MoreSee Less

Homily for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today’s first reading pits two men against each other. Amaziah is a priest of Bethel, employed by the king and charged with the duties of maintaining the royal sanctuary. As an employee of the king, Amaziah does not relish the idea of having Amos in the vicinity because he realizes that Amos had been sent by God. Amaziah feared that Amos might not toe the party line. If he spoke against the king, Amaziah could have been blamed for allowing Amos access to the court and the sanctuary. So he tells Amos to go south, to the southern kingdom of Judah. However, Amos refuses to answer to Amaziah. God has directed him to the northern kingdom of Israel.

This story is told to us this morning to mirror what happens in the Gospel. Jesus sends his apostles on their first missionary venture. Like Amos, they are sent to the villages of Galilee, to the north, with explicit instructions on what to take with them on their journey and how they are to act when they reach their destination. It is quite clear that they are sent through the authority of Jesus. Remarkably, he commissions them to participate in his ministry, the task that had been given to him by God.

Mark tells us that Jesus gave them authority over unclean spirits. People in the ancient Mediterranean world not only held a strong belief in the existence of spirits but also ranked them in five different categories according to their power. At the top of the list was the God of Israel, then “other” gods, sons of god, which we call archangels. In third place were still less powerful nonhuman persons: angels, spirits, and demons. Humans were in fourth place, and creatures lower than humans in last place.

By giving the apostles authority over the unclean spirits, Jesus is reordering the traditional ranks. The apostles are moved up a notch from level four to level three. He had already shared his ministry with them by telling them to preach repentance, the very same message that he had been preaching. Now by giving them power over the spirit world, he was sharing his power as well as his mission. In a world where honor was considered the greatest good, the Twelve would have felt incredibly honored. So when they actually drove out demons and cured sick people, they would have considered themselves blessed indeed.

Jesus announced that the reign of God was in our midst. This is the message that the Apostles announced as well. They were chosen to continue the work Jesus had begun, to preach his Gospel, and through healings and exorcisms to conquer the forces of evil that threatened God’s reign. Now, St. Paul tells us in his Letter to the Ephesians, we have been called; in him we have been chosen in all of our brokenness and vulnerability to carry on the task. St. Paul tells us that every spiritual blessing in the heavens has been bestowed upon us so that we will be able to accomplish the task we have been given. If we allow Christ’s saving power to take possession of us, we too will further his prophetic ministry. We will bring the saving grace of God to the world that is terrified and that writhes in pain; we will bring it to those places where healing is needed and where demons still hold sway.

This can only be done if we, like Amos and the Apostles, realize that we are God’s servants. Unfortunately, too many emulate Amaziah instead. Amaziah was afraid he might lose his position if the king heard Amos preaching God’s Word. Because he realizes that Amos was sent by God, he asks Amos to go somewhere else, to leave his own little world as it is.

The challenge that the Scriptures bring today asks us to make a choice. Either we are God’s servants charged with preaching God’s message, or we will simply stand aside and let the evil spirits of the world continue to threaten God’s kingdom. However, even if we choose the latter, let us remember that God’s reign will prevail. While the evils of the world may seem to be winning, God will be victorious. We know this because the One who has gone before us seemed to be vanquished by the cross; but he rose from the dead. He was victorious. If we wish to share in God’s victory, then we must accept the task which has been handed on to us to continue the work of Jesus.

The Eucharist is our victory banquet, a foretaste of what is in store for those who persevere in the task of living according to God’s Word. When we gather around this table, we remember what Jesus has done for us, we proclaim our allegiance to Him and to God’s will, and we look forward to the day when we will share in the heavenly banquet, reserved for those who place their trust in God.
... See MoreSee Less

Homily for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary TimeToday’s first reading pits two men against each other. Amaziah is a priest of Bethel, employed by the king and charged with the duties of maintaining the royal sanctuary. As an employee of the king, Amaziah does not relish the idea of having Amos in the vicinity because he realizes that Amos had been sent by God. Amaziah feared that Amos might not toe the party line. If he spoke against the king, Amaziah could have been blamed for allowing Amos access to the court and the sanctuary.  So he tells Amos to go south, to the southern kingdom of Judah. However, Amos refuses to answer to Amaziah. God has directed him to the northern kingdom of Israel.This story is told to us this morning to mirror what happens in the Gospel. Jesus sends his apostles on their first missionary venture. Like Amos, they are sent to the villages of Galilee, to the north, with explicit instructions on what to take with them on their journey and how they are to act when they reach their destination. It is quite clear that they are sent through the authority of Jesus. Remarkably, he commissions them to participate in his ministry, the task that had been given to him by God.Mark tells us that Jesus gave them authority over unclean spirits. People in the ancient Mediterranean world not only held a strong belief in the existence of spirits but also ranked them in five different categories according to their power. At the top of the list was the God of Israel, then “other” gods, sons of god, which we call archangels. In third place were still less powerful nonhuman persons: angels, spirits, and demons. Humans were in fourth place, and creatures lower than humans in last place.By giving the apostles authority over the unclean spirits, Jesus is reordering the traditional ranks. The apostles are moved up a notch from level four to level three. He had already shared his ministry with them by telling them to preach repentance, the very same message that he had been preaching. Now by giving them power over the spirit world, he was sharing his power as well as his mission. In a world where honor was considered the greatest good, the Twelve would have felt incredibly honored. So when they actually drove out demons and cured sick people, they would have considered themselves blessed indeed.Jesus announced that the reign of God was in our midst. This is the message that the Apostles announced as well. They were chosen to continue the work Jesus had begun, to preach his Gospel, and through healings and exorcisms to conquer the forces of evil that threatened God’s reign. Now, St. Paul tells us in his Letter to the Ephesians, we have been called; in him we have been chosen in all of our brokenness and vulnerability to carry on the task. St. Paul tells us that every spiritual blessing in the heavens has been bestowed upon us so that we will be able to accomplish the task we have been given. If we allow Christ’s saving power to take possession of us, we too will further his prophetic ministry. We will bring the saving grace of God to the world that is terrified and that writhes in pain; we will bring it to those places where healing is needed and where demons still hold sway.This can only be done if we, like Amos and the Apostles, realize that we are God’s servants. Unfortunately, too many emulate Amaziah instead. Amaziah was afraid he might lose his position if the king heard Amos preaching God’s Word. Because he realizes that Amos was sent by God, he asks Amos to go somewhere else, to leave his own little world as it is.The challenge that the Scriptures bring today asks us to make a choice. Either we are God’s servants charged with preaching God’s message, or we will simply stand aside and let the evil spirits of the world continue to threaten God’s kingdom. However, even if we choose the latter, let us remember that God’s reign will prevail. While the evils of the world may seem to be winning, God will be victorious. We know this because the One who has gone before us seemed to be vanquished by the cross; but he rose from the dead. He was victorious. If we wish to share in God’s victory, then we must accept the task which has been handed on to us to continue the work of Jesus.The Eucharist is our victory banquet, a foretaste of what is in store for those who persevere in the task of living according to God’s Word. When we gather around this table, we remember what Jesus has done for us, we proclaim our allegiance to Him and to God’s will, and we look forward to the day when we will share in the heavenly banquet, reserved for those who place their trust in God.

1 day ago

Franciscan Monastery

It’s a beautiful day in DC! ☀️ There’s still time to join us at the Monastery for the Holy Land Festival until 5pm. Plenty of fun activities for the whole family! #MyMonasteryDC ... See MoreSee Less

2 days ago

SW Franciscans

Sunday's Gospel is Mark 6:7-13. Jesus summons the Twelve and sends them out two by two. "He instructed them to take nothing for the journey..."

Sometimes it's easy to translate "take nothing for the journey" into spiritual terms. What is often called 'poverty of spirit.' As a pilgrim on life's road, it is always important to daily take time for solitude--to allow the Spirit to break through in the Word of silence. (That is contemplation.) Yet for Francis of Assisi and Clare of Assisi, "take nothing for the journey" was also literal. For them, and a challenge for each of us, a life of poverty means that possessions cannot be priorities. The Gospel says take nothing.

St. Francis initiated a secular order. He wanted women and men--married and single--who were not wanting to be friars nor nuns--to be able to make the commitment to profess living poverty, chastity, and obedience while staying "home." For any member of the Secular Franciscans, "take nothing for the journey" presents unusual challenges; a Secular Franciscan has responsibilities of family and relationships, of providing food and shelter and necessities.

Dear reader, when you find the Gospel message stating "take nothing for the journey" do you cower? Do you attempt to talk yourself into saying "Oh, Jesus is only talking about poverty of spirit"? Or, are you ready to accept one more Gospel pull in your life, one more challenge:

What is God's invitation today, as a person in a consumer economy, to my living "take nothing for the journey"?
... See MoreSee Less

Sundays Gospel is Mark 6:7-13. Jesus summons the Twelve and sends them out two by two. He instructed them to take nothing for the journey...
Sometimes its easy to translate take nothing for the journey into spiritual terms. What is often called poverty of spirit. As a pilgrim on lifes road, it is always important to daily take time for solitude--to allow the Spirit to break through in the Word of silence. (That is contemplation.) Yet for Francis of Assisi and Clare of Assisi, take nothing for the journey was also literal. For them, and a challenge for each of us, a life of poverty means that possessions cannot be priorities. The Gospel says take nothing.
St. Francis initiated a secular order. He wanted women and men--married and single--who were not wanting to be friars nor nuns--to be able to make the commitment to profess living poverty, chastity, and obedience while staying home. For any member of the Secular Franciscans, take nothing for the journey presents unusual challenges; a Secular Franciscan has responsibilities of family and relationships, of providing food and shelter and necessities.
Dear reader, when you find the Gospel message stating take nothing for the journey do you cower? Do you attempt to talk yourself into saying Oh, Jesus is only talking about poverty of spirit? Or, are you ready to accept one more Gospel pull in your life, one more challenge:What is Gods invitation today, as a person in a consumer economy, to my living take nothing for the journey?

Local US Franciscan News

#WhyWait Book Your September Pilgrimage:
Travel to the spot of the Transfiguration, watch pilgrims renew their wedding vows in Cana, and then board a boat and sail through the Sea of Galilee. Touch the spot where Jesus was born in Bethlehem and follow the Via Dolorosa while carrying the cross to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Details: bit.ly/2rrz0hF
... See MoreSee Less

#WhyWait Book Your September Pilgrimage:
Travel to the spot of the Transfiguration, watch pilgrims renew their wedding vows in Cana, and then board a boat and sail through the Sea of Galilee. Touch the spot where Jesus was born in Bethlehem and follow the Via Dolorosa while carrying the cross to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Details: bit.ly/2rrz0hF

We asked our Jubilarians:
What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?

Fr. Valentine Young, OFM, 70 Years Profession
“The advice that I should give to my 20-year-old self is the advice I learned from Fr. Ignatius Brady, OFM (Our Master of Clerics at DSC), when I was 20 years old or even younger. Quoting Thomas of Celano’s description of St. Francis’ living of the religious life, he said Francis was “semper novus”– always new. That is how I should be, regardless of whether I am 20 years old or 87 years old.”
More Jubilarians answer the question at: http://franciscan.org/who-we-are/…
... See MoreSee Less

We asked our Jubilarians:
What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?Fr. Valentine Young, OFM, 70 Years Profession
“The advice that I should give to my 20-year-old self is the advice I learned from Fr. Ignatius Brady, OFM (Our Master of Clerics at DSC), when I was 20 years old or even younger. Quoting Thomas of Celano’s description of St. Francis’ living of the religious life, he said Francis was “semper novus”– always new. That is how I should be, regardless of whether I am 20 years old or 87 years old.”
More Jubilarians answer the question at: http://franciscan.org/who-we-are/friar-voices-blog#jubilarians-2018

 

Comment on Facebook

Congratulations

God Bless you Fr Valentine God bless those you care for all theses years !!!!

Catholic photographers Deirdre McQuade and Fr. Greg Friedman, OFM, are hosting a prayer and photography retreat at the Monastery on July 28! Grab your camera or phone and register here: bit.ly/2J7SPk5 ... See MoreSee Less

Catholic photographers Deirdre McQuade and Fr. Greg Friedman, OFM, are hosting a prayer and photography retreat at the Monastery on July 28! Grab your camera or phone and register here: bit.ly/2J7SPk5

 

Comment on Facebook

Still lots of room for participants! We'd love to welcome you.--Fr. Greg

What a wonderful opportunity!

Just registered!

Fun!

14 hours ago

Franciscan Monastery

Today, in Jerusalem and here in Washington, D.C., the Franciscans of the #HolyLand celebrate the solemn feast of the Dedication of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the central shrine of all Christendom, in Jerusalem. Watch to learn more from Fr. Greg Friedman, OFM: ... See MoreSee Less

Homily for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today’s first reading pits two men against each other. Amaziah is a priest of Bethel, employed by the king and charged with the duties of maintaining the royal sanctuary. As an employee of the king, Amaziah does not relish the idea of having Amos in the vicinity because he realizes that Amos had been sent by God. Amaziah feared that Amos might not toe the party line. If he spoke against the king, Amaziah could have been blamed for allowing Amos access to the court and the sanctuary. So he tells Amos to go south, to the southern kingdom of Judah. However, Amos refuses to answer to Amaziah. God has directed him to the northern kingdom of Israel.

This story is told to us this morning to mirror what happens in the Gospel. Jesus sends his apostles on their first missionary venture. Like Amos, they are sent to the villages of Galilee, to the north, with explicit instructions on what to take with them on their journey and how they are to act when they reach their destination. It is quite clear that they are sent through the authority of Jesus. Remarkably, he commissions them to participate in his ministry, the task that had been given to him by God.

Mark tells us that Jesus gave them authority over unclean spirits. People in the ancient Mediterranean world not only held a strong belief in the existence of spirits but also ranked them in five different categories according to their power. At the top of the list was the God of Israel, then “other” gods, sons of god, which we call archangels. In third place were still less powerful nonhuman persons: angels, spirits, and demons. Humans were in fourth place, and creatures lower than humans in last place.

By giving the apostles authority over the unclean spirits, Jesus is reordering the traditional ranks. The apostles are moved up a notch from level four to level three. He had already shared his ministry with them by telling them to preach repentance, the very same message that he had been preaching. Now by giving them power over the spirit world, he was sharing his power as well as his mission. In a world where honor was considered the greatest good, the Twelve would have felt incredibly honored. So when they actually drove out demons and cured sick people, they would have considered themselves blessed indeed.

Jesus announced that the reign of God was in our midst. This is the message that the Apostles announced as well. They were chosen to continue the work Jesus had begun, to preach his Gospel, and through healings and exorcisms to conquer the forces of evil that threatened God’s reign. Now, St. Paul tells us in his Letter to the Ephesians, we have been called; in him we have been chosen in all of our brokenness and vulnerability to carry on the task. St. Paul tells us that every spiritual blessing in the heavens has been bestowed upon us so that we will be able to accomplish the task we have been given. If we allow Christ’s saving power to take possession of us, we too will further his prophetic ministry. We will bring the saving grace of God to the world that is terrified and that writhes in pain; we will bring it to those places where healing is needed and where demons still hold sway.

This can only be done if we, like Amos and the Apostles, realize that we are God’s servants. Unfortunately, too many emulate Amaziah instead. Amaziah was afraid he might lose his position if the king heard Amos preaching God’s Word. Because he realizes that Amos was sent by God, he asks Amos to go somewhere else, to leave his own little world as it is.

The challenge that the Scriptures bring today asks us to make a choice. Either we are God’s servants charged with preaching God’s message, or we will simply stand aside and let the evil spirits of the world continue to threaten God’s kingdom. However, even if we choose the latter, let us remember that God’s reign will prevail. While the evils of the world may seem to be winning, God will be victorious. We know this because the One who has gone before us seemed to be vanquished by the cross; but he rose from the dead. He was victorious. If we wish to share in God’s victory, then we must accept the task which has been handed on to us to continue the work of Jesus.

The Eucharist is our victory banquet, a foretaste of what is in store for those who persevere in the task of living according to God’s Word. When we gather around this table, we remember what Jesus has done for us, we proclaim our allegiance to Him and to God’s will, and we look forward to the day when we will share in the heavenly banquet, reserved for those who place their trust in God.
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Homily for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary TimeToday’s first reading pits two men against each other. Amaziah is a priest of Bethel, employed by the king and charged with the duties of maintaining the royal sanctuary. As an employee of the king, Amaziah does not relish the idea of having Amos in the vicinity because he realizes that Amos had been sent by God. Amaziah feared that Amos might not toe the party line. If he spoke against the king, Amaziah could have been blamed for allowing Amos access to the court and the sanctuary.  So he tells Amos to go south, to the southern kingdom of Judah. However, Amos refuses to answer to Amaziah. God has directed him to the northern kingdom of Israel.This story is told to us this morning to mirror what happens in the Gospel. Jesus sends his apostles on their first missionary venture. Like Amos, they are sent to the villages of Galilee, to the north, with explicit instructions on what to take with them on their journey and how they are to act when they reach their destination. It is quite clear that they are sent through the authority of Jesus. Remarkably, he commissions them to participate in his ministry, the task that had been given to him by God.Mark tells us that Jesus gave them authority over unclean spirits. People in the ancient Mediterranean world not only held a strong belief in the existence of spirits but also ranked them in five different categories according to their power. At the top of the list was the God of Israel, then “other” gods, sons of god, which we call archangels. In third place were still less powerful nonhuman persons: angels, spirits, and demons. Humans were in fourth place, and creatures lower than humans in last place.By giving the apostles authority over the unclean spirits, Jesus is reordering the traditional ranks. The apostles are moved up a notch from level four to level three. He had already shared his ministry with them by telling them to preach repentance, the very same message that he had been preaching. Now by giving them power over the spirit world, he was sharing his power as well as his mission. In a world where honor was considered the greatest good, the Twelve would have felt incredibly honored. So when they actually drove out demons and cured sick people, they would have considered themselves blessed indeed.Jesus announced that the reign of God was in our midst. This is the message that the Apostles announced as well. They were chosen to continue the work Jesus had begun, to preach his Gospel, and through healings and exorcisms to conquer the forces of evil that threatened God’s reign. Now, St. Paul tells us in his Letter to the Ephesians, we have been called; in him we have been chosen in all of our brokenness and vulnerability to carry on the task. St. Paul tells us that every spiritual blessing in the heavens has been bestowed upon us so that we will be able to accomplish the task we have been given. If we allow Christ’s saving power to take possession of us, we too will further his prophetic ministry. We will bring the saving grace of God to the world that is terrified and that writhes in pain; we will bring it to those places where healing is needed and where demons still hold sway.This can only be done if we, like Amos and the Apostles, realize that we are God’s servants. Unfortunately, too many emulate Amaziah instead. Amaziah was afraid he might lose his position if the king heard Amos preaching God’s Word. Because he realizes that Amos was sent by God, he asks Amos to go somewhere else, to leave his own little world as it is.The challenge that the Scriptures bring today asks us to make a choice. Either we are God’s servants charged with preaching God’s message, or we will simply stand aside and let the evil spirits of the world continue to threaten God’s kingdom. However, even if we choose the latter, let us remember that God’s reign will prevail. While the evils of the world may seem to be winning, God will be victorious. We know this because the One who has gone before us seemed to be vanquished by the cross; but he rose from the dead. He was victorious. If we wish to share in God’s victory, then we must accept the task which has been handed on to us to continue the work of Jesus.The Eucharist is our victory banquet, a foretaste of what is in store for those who persevere in the task of living according to God’s Word. When we gather around this table, we remember what Jesus has done for us, we proclaim our allegiance to Him and to God’s will, and we look forward to the day when we will share in the heavenly banquet, reserved for those who place their trust in God.

2 days ago

SW Franciscans

Sunday's Gospel is Mark 6:7-13. Jesus summons the Twelve and sends them out two by two. "He instructed them to take nothing for the journey..."

Sometimes it's easy to translate "take nothing for the journey" into spiritual terms. What is often called 'poverty of spirit.' As a pilgrim on life's road, it is always important to daily take time for solitude--to allow the Spirit to break through in the Word of silence. (That is contemplation.) Yet for Francis of Assisi and Clare of Assisi, "take nothing for the journey" was also literal. For them, and a challenge for each of us, a life of poverty means that possessions cannot be priorities. The Gospel says take nothing.

St. Francis initiated a secular order. He wanted women and men--married and single--who were not wanting to be friars nor nuns--to be able to make the commitment to profess living poverty, chastity, and obedience while staying "home." For any member of the Secular Franciscans, "take nothing for the journey" presents unusual challenges; a Secular Franciscan has responsibilities of family and relationships, of providing food and shelter and necessities.

Dear reader, when you find the Gospel message stating "take nothing for the journey" do you cower? Do you attempt to talk yourself into saying "Oh, Jesus is only talking about poverty of spirit"? Or, are you ready to accept one more Gospel pull in your life, one more challenge:

What is God's invitation today, as a person in a consumer economy, to my living "take nothing for the journey"?
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Sundays Gospel is Mark 6:7-13. Jesus summons the Twelve and sends them out two by two. He instructed them to take nothing for the journey...
Sometimes its easy to translate take nothing for the journey into spiritual terms. What is often called poverty of spirit. As a pilgrim on lifes road, it is always important to daily take time for solitude--to allow the Spirit to break through in the Word of silence. (That is contemplation.) Yet for Francis of Assisi and Clare of Assisi, take nothing for the journey was also literal. For them, and a challenge for each of us, a life of poverty means that possessions cannot be priorities. The Gospel says take nothing.
St. Francis initiated a secular order. He wanted women and men--married and single--who were not wanting to be friars nor nuns--to be able to make the commitment to profess living poverty, chastity, and obedience while staying home. For any member of the Secular Franciscans, take nothing for the journey presents unusual challenges; a Secular Franciscan has responsibilities of family and relationships, of providing food and shelter and necessities.
Dear reader, when you find the Gospel message stating take nothing for the journey do you cower? Do you attempt to talk yourself into saying Oh, Jesus is only talking about poverty of spirit? Or, are you ready to accept one more Gospel pull in your life, one more challenge:What is Gods invitation today, as a person in a consumer economy, to my living take nothing for the journey?

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