FROM OUR EDITORS—June 30, 2019 – 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Author: Joan McKamey ~ June 24, 2019

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“No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.” These words of Jesus from Sunday’s Gospel are ones that I’ve recalled frequently over the years. When planting a garden or a field, we want our rows to be straight. But looking back—with regret or because of lingering attachments—can cause the row we’re plowing to become crooked. (Think of how looking out the side window while driving can cause you to swerve in your lane.)

An old hand plow was one of the many “gifts” the previous owners of our property left for us. My husband has found a use for this plow when planting his vegetable garden. To keep his furrow straight, he follows the line of a length of twine stretched across the garden.

If we think of that line of twine as the teachings and example of Jesus Christ and the post at the other end of the garden as Heaven, we’ll have little need to look to “what was left behind.” The row of our life will be straighter as a result. Those who follow us will also benefit. Plow on!

Image credit: iStock.com/StuartBlyth

DE NUESTROS EDITORES—30 de junio, 2019 – 13.er Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario

Author: Joan McKamey ~ June 23, 2019

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“El que empuña el arado y mira hacia atrás, no sirve para el Reino de Dios”. Estas palabras que pronunció Jesús en el Evangelio del domingo se me han quedado grabadas a través de los años. Cuando plantamos un huerto o un terreno, queremos que los surcos nos queden bien rectos. Pero voltear hacia atrás (con remordimientos o apegos enfermizos) puede hacer que nuestros surcos queden torcidos. Es como si alguien que va conduciendo por la carretera saca la cabeza por la ventana del coche para ver hacia atrás, inevitablemente se saldrá de su carril.

Los antiguos dueños de la propiedad en la que vivimos dejaron olvidado un viejo arado. Mi esposo lo utiliza cuando trabaja en su huerto de hortalizas.  Para evitar que sus surcos queden torcidos, él coloca un pedazo de cuerda de un lado a otro del huerto y lo sigue con el arado.

Si nos imaginamos que esa línea de cuerda es como las enseñanzas y el ejemplo de Jesucristo y el poste al final del huerto es el cielo, no tendremos la necesidad de “mirar hacia atrás”. El surco de nuestra vida será recto como resultado. Además, las personas que nos siguen a nosotros también saldrán beneficiados. ¡Manos a la obra!

Traducción: Erika De Urquidi

Imagen: iStock.com/StuartBlyth

FROM OUR EDITORS—June 23, 2019 – Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Author: Erika De Urquidi ~ June 17, 2019

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For centuries, the Church has chosen the Thursday following the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity as the day dedicated to a special public veneration of the Eucharist: The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. But since Thursday is a workday, we celebrate this solemnity on the following Sunday.

On the feast of Corpus Christi, millions of Catholics around the world take to the city squares and streets in solemn procession to bear witness to their faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. On this day, we remember that every time we celebrate the Eucharist, it is not just a memory or a symbolic representation, but an act of love. When the priest calls upon the Holy Spirit and repeats Jesus’ words during the Last Supper, bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ.

When my kids where younger, their Catholic school celebrated Corpus Christi in a very special way. The children decorated the streets around campus with colorful sawdust carpets, so as entire families knelt in adoration, the procession carrying the Blessed Sacrament could walk by in all its majesty and glory. It was a true honor for the children to be selected to participate in the preparations, though moms knew that we would be soaking their uniforms in OxiClean™ all weekend long!

Let us pray that just like these children, we too will anticipate with joy the Solemnity of Corpus Christi and prepare our hearts to receive the Real Presence of the Body and Blood of our Lord during every Eucharist. Amen.

Image credit: iStock.com/LucyBrown – loca4motion

DE NUESTROS EDITORES—23 de junio, 2019 – Solemnidad del Cuerpo y la Sangre de Cristo

Author: Erika De Urquidi ~ June 17, 2019

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La Iglesia ha escogido, desde hace siglos, el jueves siguiente a la fiesta de la Santísima Trinidad como día dedicado a una especial veneración pública de la Eucaristía: la Solemnidad del Cuerpo y la Sangre de Cristo. Pero, a causa de ser ahora ese jueves día laborable, celebramos dicha solemnidad hoy, domingo.

En la fiesta del Corpus Christi, millones de católicos alrededor del mundo salen a las plazas y calles a dar testimonio de su fe en la presencia real de Jesús en la Eucaristía con solemnes procesiones. Hoy recordamos de manera especial que, cada vez que celebramos la Eucaristía, no se trata de un recuerdo o representación simbólica, sino de un acto de amor, es decir que cuando el sacerdote invoca el Espíritu Santo y repite las palabras de Jesús en la última cena, el pan y el vino se transforman en el Cuerpo y Sangre de Cristo.

La escuela católica de mis hijos celebraba de manera especial la Solemnidad de Corpus Christi. Los niños decoraban las calles del campus de la escuela con coloridos tapetes de aserrín para que la procesión que llevaba el Santísimo Sacramento pudiera pasar en toda su majestad y gloria, mientras familias enteras se arrodillaban para adorarlo. Era un verdadero honor para los niños ser elegidos para participar en la preparación, ¡aunque las mamás sabíamos que íbamos a tener que remojar el uniforme en OxiClean™ todo el fin de semana!

Pedimos al Señor que, al igual que estos niños, podamos anticipar con gozo la llegada de la Solemnidad de Corpus Christi y preparar nuestros corazones para recibir la verdadera presencia del Cuerpo y la Sangre de Nuestro Señor en la Eucaristía de este domingo. Amén.

 

Imagen: iStock.com/LucyBrown – loca4motion

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FROM OUR EDITORS—June 16, 2019 – Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

Author: Joan McKamey ~ June 10, 2019

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Para la versión en español, haga clic aquÍ.

This Sunday, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity. We take our cue about the importance of living in Christian community from this first community of relationship of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The Holy Trinity is often depicted as a triangle. I’m no architect, but I understand that the triangle provides strength and stability to structures. “When building materials are used to form a triangle, the design has a heavy base and the pinnacle on the top is capable of handling weight because of how the energy is distributed throughout the triangle . . . . The equilateral triangle is by far the most common triangle used in architecture.” *

The three pyramids of Giza in Egypt are examples of equilateral triangles used in architecture. Each pyramid’s four sides are equilateral triangles. These pyramids have been standing for over 4,000 years.

My husband and I recently visited the pyramids in Giza as part of a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and Egypt. The pyramids that previously had no connection to my Christian faith now take on new meaning. They now remind me of our all-powerful God and the strength that can be found in Christian community. May we all begin to see triangles as reminders of the Holy Trinity and our call to Christian community.

 
*“Triangles Used in Architecture” by Nicholas Ramos, Sciencing.com
Image credit: Jon McKamey

DE NUESTROS EDITORES—16 de junio, 2019 – Solemnidad de la Santísima Trinidad

Author: Joan McKamey ~ June 10, 2019

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Este domingo celebramos la Solemnidad de la Santísima Trinidad. Aprendemos sobre la importancia de vivir en comunidad cristiana al reflexionar en esta primera relación de comunidad del Padre, el Hijo y el Espíritu Santo.

Con frecuencia se representa a Santísima Trinidad con un triángulo. Yo no soy ninguna experta, pero entiendo que el triángulo proporciona solidez y estabilidad a las estructuras. “Cuando se utilizan materiales de construcción para formar un triángulo, el diseño tiene una gran base y el pináculo de la parte superior es capaz de administrar el peso porque la energía se distribuye a través de todo el triángulo… El triángulo equilátero es el más común usado en arquitectura”. *

Las tres pirámides de Giza en Egipto son ejemplos de triángulos equiláteros utilizados para la arquitectura. Cada uno de los cuatro lados de las pirámides es un triángulo equilátero. Estas pirámides fueron construidas hace más de 4,000 años.

Recientemente mi esposo y yo visitamos las pirámides en Giza como parte de un peregrinaje a Tierra Santa y Egipto. Las pirámides que anteriormente no tenían ninguna relación con mi fe cristiana ahora adquieren un nuevo significado. Ahora me recuerdan a nuestro Dios todopoderoso y la fuerza que podemos encontrar en la comunidad cristiana. Que todos comencemos a ver triángulos como un recordatorio de la Santísima Trinidad y de nuestro llamado a vivir como una comunidad cristiana.

 
* “Triángulos usados en arquitectura”, Nicholas Ramos, Sciencing.com
Imagen: Jon McKamey

FROM OUR EDITORS—June 9, 2019 – Pentecost Sunday

Author: Erika De Urquidi ~ June 4, 2019

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Para la versión en español, haga clic aquÍ

This Sunday, the Easter season comes to an end. It has been fifty days since we celebrated the Resurrection of Our Lord. On Pentecost, we celebrate that Jesus sent his Holy Spirit to renew and strengthen our hearts.

The Holy Spirit grants different gifts upon each one of us. During his homily for the Solemnity of Pentecost in 2017, Pope Francis declared that the Holy Spirit “creates diversity and unity, and in this way forms a new, diverse and unified people: the universal Church.”

On May 19, I had the opportunity to participate in the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership in Los Angeles and witness the diversity and unity that the Holy Father refers to. Each person brought unique gifts and talents that, along with all the other participants, created a tremendous force whose mission is to bring the Gospel to every corner of our world.

May the Holy Spirit fill us with strength and courage to continue our mission as catechists. Amen.

 

 

Image credit: iStock.com/SDenisov

FROM OUR EDITORS—June 2, 2019 – The Ascension of the Lord/7th Sunday of Easter

Author: Joan McKamey ~ May 27, 2019

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Para la versión en español, haga clic aquÍ.

As we celebrate the Ascension of the Lord, we realize that the Easter season is nearing its end. This is a good time to reflect on whether we have kept living in the joy of Easter or if we have slipped back into ways of living that sap our joy.

We spent the forty days of Lent sacrificing, praying, and doing good works. These shouldn’t be things we do only during Lent. We “practice” these spiritual practices during Lent so that they may become more regular parts of our lives—all through the year.

Our Lenten efforts help us to celebrate Easter with greater joy and appreciation for God’s great love for us. Our cup of Easter joy can be refilled at every Sunday Mass since Sundays are “little Easters”—celebrations of Christ’s Resurrection.

 

Image credit: Virginia CASTRO/CIRIC

DE NUESTROS EDITORES—2 de junio, 2019 – Ascensión del Señor/7.o Domingo de Pascua

Author: Joan McKamey ~ May 26, 2019

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Al celebrar la Ascensión del Señor, nos damos cuenta de que el tiempo de Pascua está por terminar. Esta es una buena oportunidad para pensar si hemos logrado conservar el gozo de la Pascua o si hemos regresado a nuestro antiguo estilo de vida que debilita nuestra alegría.

Durante cuarenta días hicimos sacrificios, oramos e hicimos obras de caridad. No deberíamos realizar estas tres cosas exclusivamente durante la Cuaresma. “Practicamos” estas tres acciones para que lleguen a formar parte de nuestra vida diaria durante todo el año.

Los sacrificios que realizamos durante la Cuaresma nos ayudan a celebrar la Pascua con un mayor gozo y a apreciar aún más el gran amor que Dios tiene por nosotros. Podemos fortalecer nuestro gozo Pascual cada domingo durante la Misa, ya que los domingos son “pequeñas celebraciones pascuales” de la Resurrección de Cristo.

Traducción: Erika De Urquidi

Imagen: Virginia CASTRO/CIRIC

FROM OUR EDITORS—May 26, 2019 – 6th Sunday of Easter

Author: Joan McKamey ~ May 21, 2019

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This Friday, May 31st, we celebrate the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. When Pope Francis meditated on this mystery in 2013, he stated that there are three words that sum up Mary´s attitude: listening, decision, and action. These three words also apply to our lives as disciples of Jesus Christ.

Mary listened to the Angel´s words as he announced to her that Elizabeth was expecting a child, even in her old age. Do we listen to God´s messengers? Pope Francis reflects, “The Lord is at the door of our life and knocks in many ways, he puts signs on our path; he gives us the ability to see them.”

Mary´s second attitude is probably very hard for us to imitate: Decision. “At times we know what we ought to do,” says Pope Francis, “but we do not have the courage to do it or it seems to us too difficult because it means swimming against the tide.” Mary not only decides to accept God´s invitation to be the mother of his Son, but she also decides to go to the place where she is needed at that moment.

But, what good does it do for us to take a decision if we don´t act upon it? Mary set out on a journey and “went with haste” (Luke 1:39). “We sometimes stop at listening, at thinking about what we must do, we may even be clear about the decision we have to make, but we do not move on to action.”

Let´s ask our Heavenly Mother to open our ears to listen to her Son´s will, to give us courage to take the right decisions, and to strengthen our spirits to move “with haste” to help those who need us the most. Amen. 

May 12 was the last lesson of the 2018–19 year of the Pflaum Gospel Weeklies. If your classes continue beyond that Sunday, there are free Late Close Lessons at each level that include a general lesson on the parables and Creation, as well as one for Pentecost. They are available for Seeds, Promise, Good News, Venture, and Visions. The editors have also identified related videos to enhance your lessons. Those who have purchased the Activity Books will find three additional Late Close Lessons for each level there as well.

 

Image credit: iStockphoto.com/sedmak

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