It’s the Simple Things / Las Cosas Sencillas

It was another Sunday morning and we had all five kids in tow. The oldest in his inquisitive preteen stage asking me questions during the whole Mass. My timid one asking me over and over again if we could move up to the balcony so that there wouldn’t be so many people around. My youngest two boys elbowing and shoving each other because they both wanted to sit next to mommy. And my baby girl getting on and off laps, pulling hymnals in and out of the holders and wandering in and out of the pew. 

Most often it feels like a train wreck. A constant refereeing of little ones just to keep them quiet so they won’t disturb those around us. Constantly reminding them to pay attention and listen because these are the greatest moments they will be living all week, something far greater than video games or Avenger movies. 

But every once in a while, someone behind us gives us a compliment. “What a beautiful family you have!” “Your kids are so well-behaved.” “Well done on keeping the peace.” or “They are all so adorable, you’re doing great.” And it’s then that I realize once again that the simple things in life mean so much.

Today is the Feast of St. Pius of Pietrelcina, usually known as Padre Pio. Although he was granted the extraordinary grace of bearing the wounds of Christ, the stigmata, he lived a very simple life. He began by saying Mass at 5am and then spent most of the day hearing confessions. Although he was very sought after, he did not fall into pride or seek public attention. In fact, he rarely left the friary. 

In today’s Gospel, Jesus uses a simple image to describe how we can bear fruit, by planting seed in rich soil. We all have a basic concept of how gardening works. The more a seed is watered and fertilized and receives sunlight, the better it grows. The same is true for our hearts. The more it is nourished to become receptive to God’s word, the more fruit it bears within us. 

So let us not discount the simple things in life. Let us learn from them and take them in and truly allow ourselves to be transformed by them, so that we too may bear much fruit. 

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Era otro domingo por la mañana y traimos a los cinco hijos con nosotros. El mayor en su etapa inquisitiva de preadolescente haciéndome preguntas durante toda la Misa. Mi hijo tímido preguntándome una y otra vez si podíamos subir al balcón para que no hubiera tanta gente a su alrededor. Mis dos hijos menores se daban codazos y empujones porque ambos querían sentarse al lado de su mamá. Y mi niña pequeña subiendo y bajando de nuestras piernas, sacando y poniendo himnarios de los soportes y entrando y saliendo del banco.

La mayoría de las veces se siente como un choque de trenes. Un constante arbitraje de los más pequeños para que se queden callados y no molesten a los que nos rodean. Recordándoles constantemente que presten atención y escuchen porque estos son los mejores momentos que vivirán durante toda la semana, algo mucho más grande que los videojuegos o las películas de los Avengers.

Pero de vez en cuando, alguien detrás de nosotros nos hace un cumplido. “¡Qué hermosa familia tienes!” “Tus hijos se portan muy bien”. “Bien hecho por mantener la paz”. o “Son todos tan adorables, lo estás haciendo muy bien”. Y es entonces cuando me doy cuenta una vez más de que las cosas simples de la vida significan mucho.

Hoy es la fiesta de San Pío de Pietrelcina, generalmente conocido como Padre Pío. Aunque se le concedió la gracia extraordinaria de llevar las heridas de Cristo, los estigmas, vivió una vida muy sencilla. Comenzaba celebrando Misa a las 5 am y luego pasaba la mayor parte del día escuchando confesiones. Aunque era muy buscado, no caía en el orgullo ni buscaba la atención del público. De hecho, rara vez salía del convento.

En el Evangelio de hoy, Jesús utiliza una imagen sencilla para describir cómo podemos dar fruto, plantando semillas en tierra fértil. Todos tenemos un concepto básico de cómo funciona la jardinería. Mientras más se riega y fertiliza una semilla y recibe luz solar, mejor crece. Lo mismo es cierto para nuestros corazones. Mientras más se nutre para volverse receptivo a la palabra de Dios, más fruto da dentro de nosotros.

Así que no descartemos las cosas sencillas de la vida. Aprendamos de ellos, asumámoslos y dejémonos verdaderamente transformar por ellos, para que también nosotros podamos dar mucho fruto.

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Feature Image Credit: Brigitte Tohm,

Tami Urcia grew up in Western Michigan, a middle child in a large Catholic family. She spent early young adulthood as a missionary in Mexico, studying theology and philosophy, then worked and traveled extensively before finishing her Bachelor’s Degree in Western Kentucky. She loves tackling projects, finding fun ways to keep her little ones occupied, quiet conversation with the hubby and finding unique ways to love. She works full time, is a guest blogger on and, and has been doing Spanish translations on the side for over 20 years.

Memorial of Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest

Reading 1 1 Tm 6:13-16

I charge you before God, who gives life to all things,
and before Christ Jesus,
who gave testimony under Pontius Pilate
for the noble confession,
to keep the commandment without stain or reproach
until the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ
that the blessed and only ruler
will make manifest at the proper time,
the King of kings and Lord of lords,
who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light,
and whom no human being has seen or can see.
To him be honor and eternal power. Amen.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 100:1b-2, 3, 4, 5

R. (2) Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
Sing joyfully to the LORD all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
Know that the LORD is God;
he made us, his we are;
his people, the flock he tends.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
his courts with praise;
Give thanks to him; bless his name.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
For he is good:
the LORD, whose kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.

Alleluia See Lk 8:15

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart
and yield a harvest through perseverance.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 8:4-15

When a large crowd gathered, with people from one town after another
journeying to Jesus, he spoke in a parable.
“A sower went out to sow his seed.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path and was trampled,
and the birds of the sky ate it up.
Some seed fell on rocky ground, and when it grew,
it withered for lack of moisture.
Some seed fell among thorns,
and the thorns grew with it and choked it.
And some seed fell on good soil, and when it grew,
it produced fruit a hundredfold.”
After saying this, he called out,
“Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.”

Then his disciples asked him
what the meaning of this parable might be.
He answered,
“Knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God
has been granted to you;
but to the rest, they are made known through parables
so that they may look but not see, and hear but not understand.

“This is the meaning of the parable.
The seed is the word of God.
Those on the path are the ones who have heard,
but the Devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts
that they may not believe and be saved.
Those on rocky ground are the ones who, when they hear,
receive the word with joy, but they have no root;
they believe only for a time and fall away in time of temptation.
As for the seed that fell among thorns,
they are the ones who have heard, but as they go along,
they are choked by the anxieties and riches and pleasures of life,
and they fail to produce mature fruit.
But as for the seed that fell on rich soil,
they are the ones who, when they have heard the word,
embrace it with a generous and good heart,
and bear fruit through perseverance.”

– – –

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

St. Pio of Pietrelcina

St. Pio of Pietrelcina

Feast date: Sep 23

On Sept. 23, the Catholic Church remembers the Italian Franciscan priest St. Pio of Petrelcina, better known as “Padre Pio” and known for his suffering, humility and miracles.

The man later known by these names was originally named Francesco Forgione, born to his parents Grazio and Maria in 1887. His parents had seven children, two of whom died in infancy. They taught the five surviving children to live their faith through daily Mass, family prayer of the rosary, and regular acts of penance.

Francesco had already decided at a young age to dedicate his entire life to God. At age 10, he felt inspired by the example of a young Capuchin Franciscan, and told his parents: “I want to be a friar – with a beard.” Francesco’s father spent time in America, working to finance his son’s education so he could enter the religious life.

On Jan. 22, 1903, Francesco donned the Franciscan habit for the first time. He took the new name Pio, a modernized Italian form of “Pius,” in honor of Pope St. Pius V. He made his solemn vows four years later, and received priestly ordination in the summer of 1910. Shortly after, he first received the Stigmata – Christ’s wounds, present in his own flesh.

Along with these mystical but real wounds, Padre Pio also suffered health problems that forced him to live apart from his Franciscan community for the first six years of his priesthood. By 1916 he managed to re-enter community life at the Friary of San Giovanni Rotondo, where he lived until his death. He handled many duties as a spiritual director and teacher, covering for brothers drafted into World War I.

During 1917 and 1918, Padre Pio himself briefly served in a medical unit of the Italian army. He later offered himself as a spiritual “victim” for an end to the war, accepting suffering as a form of prayer for peace. Once again, he received the wounds of Christ on his body. They would remain with him for 50 years, through a succession of global conflicts.

Against his own wishes, the friar’s reputation for holiness, and attending miracles, began to attract huge crowds. Some Church officials, however, denounced the priest and had him banned from public ministry in 1931. Pope Pius XI ended the ban two years later, and his successor Pius XII encouraged pilgrimages to Padre Pio’s friary.

Known for patient suffering, fervent prayer, and compassionate spiritual guidance, Padre Pio also lent his efforts to the establishment of a major hospital, the “Home to Relieve Suffering.”

Padre Pio died in 1968, and was declared a saint in 2002. Three years after his death, Pope Paul VI marveled at his simple and holy life in an address to the Capuchin Order.

“A worldwide following gathered around him … because he said Mass humbly, heard confessions from dawn to dusk and was – it is not easy to say it – one who bore the wounds of our Lord,” Pope Paul explained. “He was a man of prayer and suffering.”

Accompanying Jesus / Acompañando a Jesús

Christ’s disciples included some women, among them Mary Magdalene—who was the first to announce Jesus’ Resurrection to the Apostles. She would also be the first person to whom the resurrected Jesus appears. For these reasons, she is referred to as the Apostle to the Apostles.

Jesus healed Mary Magdalene from seven demons (Luke 8:2). I don’t know anyone who doesn’t wrestle with demons in their life. And, there are some, I believe, that only Jesus can remove. Mary Magdalene, once healed, became a fervent disciple of Jesus, staying close, knowing He was all she needed. Mary Magdalene possessed a faith strong enough to afford her the courage to stand at the foot of the cross during Jesus’ crucifixion. She accompanied Him not only when He blessed her with prayers answered but in His darkest hour. She never ceased to trust in His promise of Heaven and to bring good in every situation (Romans 8:28).

How do we accompany Jesus? 

I try to stay close to Jesus through the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist in Mass and Adoration. As St. Augustine explained, the Sacraments as “outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual graces.” Adoration feels so tangible, the grace palpable, a peace truly beyond understanding. In my time before the Blessed Sacrament, I have experienced remarkable moments of clarity and wisdom in my faith. 

Jesus has healed me in so many facets of my life. He’s filled empty crevices and crevasses with hope, love, joy, and an abundance of gifts of grace. I’ve recovered from physical afflictions, some rather miraculous, but those pale in comparison to the gratitude and joy experienced when Jesus healed my spiritual, emotional, and mental wounds. 

There are times as well when my prayers were answered differently, according to God’s plan and not mine. Thorns of chronic illness I have often begged for Jesus to remove but yet remain. St. Paul spoke about the thorn in his side, asking God three times to remove it, yet it remained (2 Cor 12:1-10). It remained to protect Paul so he would boast only about what God did in his life and not fall into pride or forget he could do nothing without God. 

“I was once lost, but now I’m found,” could be sung about everyone who has said yes to follow Jesus. Even those who are faithful followers of Jesus have moments where they need to come closer and be healed. We, like St. Paul, have all suffered thorns we’ve begged the Lord to remove; yet when we surrender our will and accept our circumstances, we can experience the freedom that comes from not being healed and still loving the Lord. We accompany Him as true disciples simply for the hope of Heaven.

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Entre los discípulos de Cristo había algunas mujeres, entre ellas María Magdalena, quien fue la primera en anunciar la Resurrección de Jesús a los Apóstoles. Ella sería también la primera persona a la que se le aparece Jesús resucitado. Por estas razones, se la conoce como la Apóstol de los Apóstoles.

Jesús sanó a María Magdalena de siete demonios (Lucas 8,2). No conozco a nadie que no luche con demonios en su vida. Y hay algunos, creo, que solo Jesús puede eliminar. María Magdalena, una vez sanada, se convirtió en una ferviente discípula de Jesús, permaneciendo cerca, sabiendo que Él era todo lo que necesitaba. María Magdalena poseía una fe tan fuerte como para darle el coraje de pararse al pie de la cruz durante la crucifixión de Jesús. Ella lo acompañó no solo cuando Él la bendijo con oraciones contestadas, sino también en Su hora más oscura. Ella nunca dejó de confiar en Su promesa del Cielo y de traer el bien a cada situación (Romanos 8,28).

¿Cómo acompañamos a Jesús?

Trato de estar cerca de Jesús a través de los Sacramentos, especialmente la Eucaristía en la Misa y la Adoración. Como explicó San Agustín, los Sacramentos son “signos externos y visibles de gracias internas y espirituales”. La adoración se siente tan tangible, la gracia palpable, una paz verdaderamente más allá de la comprensión. En mi tiempo ante el Santísimo Sacramento, he experimentado momentos notables de claridad y sabiduría en mi fe.

Jesús me ha sanado en tantas facetas de mi vida. Ha llenado grietas y fisuras vacías con esperanza, amor, gozo y abundancia de dones de gracia. Me he recuperado de aflicciones físicas, algunas bastante milagrosas, pero son pequeñas en comparación con la gratitud y el gozo experimentados cuando Jesús ha sanado mis heridas espirituales, emocionales y mentales.

También hay momentos en que mis oraciones fueron respondidas de manera diferente, según el plan de Dios y no el mío. Espinas de enfermedades crónicas que a menudo le he suplicado a Jesús que me quite, pero aún permanecen. San Pablo habló del aguijón en su costado, pidiéndole a Dios tres veces que se lo quitara, pero permaneció (2 Cor 12,1-10). Quedaba para proteger a Pablo para que se jactara solo de lo que Dios hizo en su vida y no se enorgulleciera ni se olvidara de que sin Dios no podía hacer nada.

“Una vez estuve perdido, pero ahora me encontró”, podría cantarse sobre todos los que han dicho que sí para seguir a Jesús. Incluso aquellos que son fieles seguidores de Jesús tienen momentos en los que necesitan acercarse y ser sanados. Nosotros, como San Pablo, todos hemos sufrido espinas que le hemos suplicado al Señor que las quite; sin embargo, cuando entregamos nuestra voluntad y aceptamos nuestras circunstancias, podemos experimentar la libertad que proviene de no haber sido sanados y seguir amando al Señor. Lo acompañamos como verdaderos discípulos simplemente por la esperanza del Cielo.

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Allison Gingras ( ) — Shares her love of the Catholic Faith with stories, laughter, and honesty as experienced in the ordinary of life! Her writing includes Encountering Signs of Faith (Ave Maria Press) and the Stay Connected Journals for Women (OSV). Allison is a Catholic Digital Media Specialist for Family Rosary, Catholic Mom, and the Fall River Diocese. She hosts A Seeking Heart podcast and is co-host of the Catholic Momcast podcast.

Feature Image Credit: Vytautas Markūnas SDB,

The views and opinions expressed in the Inspiration Daily blog are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Diocesan, the Diocesan staff, or other contributors to this blog.

Friday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 1 Tm 6:2c-12

Teach and urge these things.
Whoever teaches something different
and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ
and the religious teaching
is conceited, understanding nothing,
and has a morbid disposition for arguments and verbal disputes.
From these come envy, rivalry, insults, evil suspicions,
and mutual friction among people with corrupted minds,
who are deprived of the truth,
supposing religion to be a means of gain.
Indeed, religion with contentment is a great gain.
For we brought nothing into the world,
just as we shall not be able to take anything out of it.
If we have food and clothing, we shall be content with that.
Those who want to be rich are falling into temptation and into a trap
and into many foolish and harmful desires,
which plunge them into ruin and destruction.
For the love of money is the root of all evils,
and some people in their desire for it have strayed from the faith
and have pierced themselves with many pains.

But you, man of God, avoid all this.
Instead, pursue righteousness, devotion,
faith, love, patience, and gentleness.
Compete well for the faith.
Lay hold of eternal life,
to which you were called when you made the noble confession
in the presence of many witnesses.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 49:6-7, 8-10, 17-18, 19-20

R. Blessed the poor in spirit; the Kingdom of heaven is theirs!
Why should I fear in evil days
when my wicked ensnarers ring me round?
They trust in their wealth;
the abundance of their riches is their boast.
R. Blessed the poor in spirit; the Kingdom of heaven is theirs!
Yet in no way can a man redeem himself,
or pay his own ransom to God;
Too high is the price to redeem one’s life; he would never have enough
to remain alive always and not see destruction.
R. Blessed the poor in spirit; the Kingdom of heaven is theirs!
Fear not when a man grows rich,
when the wealth of his house becomes great,
For when he dies, he shall take none of it;
his wealth shall not follow him down.
R. Blessed the poor in spirit; the Kingdom of heaven is theirs!
Though in his lifetime he counted himself blessed,
“They will praise you for doing well for yourself,”
He shall join the circle of his forebears
who shall never more see light.
R. Blessed the poor in spirit; the Kingdom of heaven is theirs!

Alleluia See Mt 11:25

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;
you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 8:1-3

Jesus journeyed from one town and village to another,
preaching and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God.
Accompanying him were the Twelve
and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities,
Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out,
Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza,
Susanna, and many others
who provided for them out of their resources.

– – –

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

St. Thomas of Villanova

St. Thomas of Villanova

Feast date: Sep 22

On Sept. 22, the Catholic Church remembers Saint Thomas of Villanova, a 16th century Spanish Augustinian monk and archbishop who lived a life of austerity in order to provide for the spiritual and material needs of his people.

Born during 1488 in the Spanish region of Castile, in the town of Villanova de los Infantes, Thomas Garcia was raised to take after the faith and charitable works of his parents Alphonsus and Lucia. His father, a mill worker, regularly distributed food and provisions to the poor, as did his mother.

Generous and devout from an early age, their son was also intellectually gifted, beginning his studies at the University of Alcala at age 16. Within ten years he had become a professor of philosophy at that same university, where he taught for two years before being offered a more prestigious position at the University of Salamanca.

Thomas, however, chose not to continue his academic career. After his father’s death, he had determined to leave much of his inheritance to the poor and sick rather than retaining it himself. At age 28, after much deliberation, Thomas embraced a life of chastity, poverty, and religious obedience with his entry into the monastic Order of St. Augustine.

Thomas made his first vows as an Augustinian in 1517 and was ordained a priest in 1518. He taught theology within his order and became renowned for his eloquent and effective preaching in the churches of Salamanca. This led to his appointment as a court preacher and adviser to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.

Presented with the prospect of being named an archbishop, Thomas initially declined and instead continued his work within the Order of St. Augustine, during a period that saw its expansion across the sea to Mexico. In August of 1544, however, he was ordered by his religious superiors to accept his appointment as the Archbishop of Valencia.

Thomas arrived wearing the same well-worn monastic habit that he had worn for several years and would continue wearing for years to come. Given a donation to decorate his residence, he funnelled the money to a hospital in need of repair. After his installation, he visited local prisons and ordered changes to be made in response to their inhumane conditions.

While continuing his life of monastic asceticism, the archbishop worked to improve the spiritual lives and living conditions of the faithful. He gave special attention to the needs of the poor, feeding and sheltering them in his own residence. During the same period he worked to promote education, restore religious orthodoxy, and reform the lifestyles of clergy and laypersons.

After 11 years leading the Archdiocese of Valencia, St. Thomas of Villanova succumbed to a heart condition at the end of a Mass held in his home on Sept. 8, 1555. He is said to have died on the floor rather than in his bed, which he insisted on offering to a poor man who had come to his house. Pope Alexander VII canonized him in 1658.

Equipped / Equipados

Have you ever felt God calling you to something that you thought would be impossible for you to do? Something that really made you fearful or would imply that you go well out of your comfort zone? If there is one thing that most of the characters in the Old Testament and the Apostles from the New Testament all had in common it’s that they did not feel equipped for the mission they were being called to do. Think about Moses begging God not to ask him to go to Egypt, or Abraham when he was asked to kill his own son, or Thomas being asked to have faith that Jesus had risen. 

Oftentimes God is asking something of us that seems impossible. And it is. Well let me put it this way, it would be impossible without the grace from God to achieve the seemingly impossible. The first reading today explains not only that God gives grace, but that he actually gives personal grace. That is to say, he doesn’t just blanket every person with the same amount and same kind of grace, but he showers us with the grace that we specifically need to be saints. It’s a personal grace to us that would not mean the same to someone else. 

Paul then goes on to explain that everyone has different gifts according to the grace they have been given. Some are teachers, some are prophets, others are evangelists, and the list goes on. I think it can be helpful to reflect on this very personal grace in our own lives. We live in an age where we like to compare ourselves to others as a litmus test for how good we are doing on this strange road we call life. Instagram certainly hasn’t helped with the comparative nature of the average american. But St. Paul is reminding us today that we do not need to worry about feeling unequipped and we do not need to worry about comparisons. 

God has given you a specific grace for the amazing things he is going to ask of you. Some of those things may be scary and may make you feel like you can’t do it. In those moments, cling to the God who gives you the grace to do it. If we all waited until we felt fully confident in a decision we would never make any progress. And if we compare ourselves to others we may miss the spectacular things that God wants for us. If you struggle with any of these thoughts, I encourage you to read Exodus 4:10-12 where God calls Moses to speak on his behalf. 

Here is a man who was known to have a speech impediment and God tells him that he will be by his side. That is a promise we can all take to the bank. Just don’t forget to cash it in. 

From all of us here at Diocesan, God bless!

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¿Alguna vez has sentido que Dios te está llamando a algo que pensaste que sería imposible que hicieras? ¿Algo que realmente te hizo temer o implicaría que salieras de tu zona de confort? Si algo tenían en común la mayoría de los personajes del Antiguo Testamento y los Apóstoles del Nuevo Testamento es que no se sentían preparados para la misión a la que estaban llamados. Piensa en Moisés rogándole a Dios que no le pidiera que fuera a Egipto, o en Abraham cuando le pidió que matara a su propio hijo, o en Tomás cuando le pidieron que tuviera fe en que Jesús había resucitado.

A menudo Dios nos pide algo que parece imposible. Y lo es. Bueno, es decir, sería imposible sin la gracia de Dios lograr lo que parece imposible. La primera lectura de hoy explica no solo que Dios da la gracia, sino que en realidad da la gracia personal. Es decir, no solo cubre a cada persona con la misma cantidad y el mismo tipo de gracia, sino que nos baña con la gracia que necesitamos específicamente para ser santos. Es una gracia personal para nosotros que no significaría lo mismo para otra persona.

Pablo luego pasa a explicar que cada uno tiene diferentes dones de acuerdo a la gracia que ha recibido. Algunos son maestros, algunos son profetas, otros son evangelistas, y la lista continúa. Creo que puede ser útil reflexionar sobre esta gracia tan personal en nuestras propias vidas. Vivimos en una época en la que nos gusta compararnos con los demás como una prueba de fuego de lo bien que lo estamos haciendo en este extraño camino que llamamos la vida. Instagram ciertamente no ha ayudado con la naturaleza comparativa del estadounidense típico. Pero San Pablo nos está recordando hoy que no debemos preocuparnos por sentirnos no equipados y no debemos preocuparnos por las comparaciones.

Dios te ha dado una gracia específica para las cosas maravillosas que te va a pedir. Algunas de esas cosas pueden asustarte y hacerte sentir que no puedes hacerlo. En esos momentos, aférrate a Dios que les da la gracia para hacerlo. Si todos esperáramos hasta sentirnos completamente seguros de una decisión, nunca progresaríamos. Y si nos comparamos con los demás podemos perdernos las cosas espectaculares que Dios quiere para nosotros. Si luchas con alguno de estos pensamientos, te animo a leer Éxodo 4:10-12, donde Dios llama a Moisés para que hable en su nombre.

Allí vas a leer de un hombre que se sabía que tenía un impedimento del habla y Dios le dice que estará a su lado. Esa es una promesa que todos podemos llevar al banco. Solo no olvides cobrarlo.

De parte de todos nosotros aquí en Diocesan, ¡Dios los bendiga!

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Tommy Shultz is a Business Development Representative for Diocesan. In this role he is committed to bringing the best software to dioceses and parishes while helping them evangelize on the digital continent. Tommy has worked in various diocese and parish roles since his graduation from Franciscan University with a Theology degree. He hopes to use his skills in evangelization, marketing, and communications, to serve the Church and bring the Good News to all. His favorite quote comes from St. John Paul II, who said, “A person is an entity of a sort to which the only proper and adequate way to relate is love.”

Feature Image Credit: Max Vertsanov,

St. Matthew, Apostle

St. Matthew, Apostle

Feast date: Sep 21

Saint Matthew, the first-century tax collector turned apostle who chronicled the life and ministry of Christ in his Gospel, is celebrated by the Church today, September 21. Although relatively little is known about the life of St. Matthew, the account he wrote of Christ’s ministry – traditionally considered to be the first of the four Gospels – is of inestimable value to the Church, particularly in its verification of Jesus as the Messiah.

Eastern Catholics and the Orthodox churches celebrate St. Matthew on November 16, along with St. Fulvianus, a prince who is recorded in some traditions as converting from paganism after Matthew’s martyrdom.

The Gospel accounts of Mark and Luke, like Matthew’s own, describe the encounter between Jesus and Matthew under the surprising circumstances of Matthew’s tax-collecting duties. Jewish publicans, who collected taxes on behalf of the Roman rulers of first-century Judea, were objects of scorn and even hatred among their own communities, since they worked on behalf of the occupying power and often earned their living by collecting more than the state’s due.

Jesus most likely first encountered Matthew near the house of Peter, in Capernaum near the Sea of Galilee. The meeting of the two was dramatic, as Matthew’s third-person account in his Gospel captured: “As Jesus passed on,” the ninth chapter recounts, “he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, ‘Follow me’. And he got up and followed him.”

Matthew’s calling into Jesus’ inner circle was a dramatic gesture of the Messiah’s universal message and mission, causing some religious authorities of the Jewish community to wonder: “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus’ significant response indicated a central purpose of his ministry: “I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

A witness to Christ’s resurrection after death, as well as his ascension into heaven and the events of Pentecost, Matthew also recorded Jesus’ instruction for the apostles to “go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”

Like 11 of the 12 apostles, St. Matthew is traditionally thought to have died as a martyr while preaching the Gospel. The Roman Martyrology describes his death as occurring in a territory near present-day Egypt.

Both the saint himself, and his Gospel narrative, have inspired important works of religious art, ranging from the ornate illuminated pages of the Book of Kells in the ninth century, to the Saint Matthew Passion of J.S. Bach. Three famous paintings of Caravaggio, depicting St. Matthew’s calling, inspiration and martyrdom, hang within the Contarelli Chapel in Rome’s Church of St. Louis of the French.

Reflecting on St. Matthew’s calling, from the pursuit of dishonest financial gain to the heights of holiness and divine inspiration, Pope Benedict said in 2006 that “in the figure of Matthew, the Gospels present to us a true and proper paradox: those who seem to be the farthest from holiness can even become a model of the acceptance of God’s mercy and offer a glimpse of its marvelous effects in their own lives.”

Feast of Saint Matthew, Apostle and evangelist

Reading 1 Eph 4:1-7, 11-13

Brothers and sisters:
I, a prisoner for the Lord,
urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received,
with all humility and gentleness, with patience,
bearing with one another through love,
striving to preserve the unity of the Spirit
through the bond of peace:
one Body and one Spirit,
as you were also called to the one hope of your call;
one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
one God and Father of all,
who is over all and through all and in all.

But grace was given to each of us
according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

And he gave some as Apostles, others as prophets,
others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers,
to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry,
for building up the Body of Christ,
until we all attain to the unity of faith
and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood,
to the extent of the full stature of Christ.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 19:2-3, 4-5

R. (5) Their message goes out through all the earth.
The heavens declare the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day pours out the word to day,
and night to night imparts knowledge.
R. Their message goes out through all the earth.
Not a word nor a discourse
whose voice is not heard;
Through all the earth their voice resounds,
and to the ends of the world, their message.
R. Their message goes out through all the earth.

Alleluia — See <a href="https://bible.usccb.orgroute? “>

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
We praise you, O God,
we acclaim you as Lord;
the glorious company of Apostles praise you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 9:9-13

As Jesus passed by,
he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, “Follow me.”
And he got up and followed him.
While he was at table in his house,
many tax collectors and sinners came
and sat with Jesus and his disciples.
The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples,
“Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
He heard this and said,
“Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.
Go and learn the meaning of the words,
I desire mercy, not sacrifice.
I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

– – –

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Free To Be Wrong / Libres para Equivocarnos

All of creation, all of history, all prophecy, all prayer was leading to and longing for the coming of the Christ. And yet, those who should have recognized the signs and rejoiced in his coming were the very ones who rejected Him and His precursor, John. The pious and religious people – the scribes and the Pharisees – accuse them like whining children who cannot be satisfied. Even worse, they were so convinced that they were correct and that their judgment was righteous, that nothing could convince them otherwise. They were settled in their ways and saw no need to be disrupted. They were satisfied with their position and did not want any challenge. They had carved out their horizons (according to the Law!) and they refused to see beyond them.

They were so self-absorbed, self-important, self-righteous, and self-willed, that they became deaf and blind to Truth.

We are not much different from the scribes and Pharisees. We can turn a blind eye and deaf ear to what is true too. This is the terrifying risk that comes with real freedom. It is meant to be a glorious gift, but it is too often tragically misused.

We can choose to remain blind and deaf to truth, whining about peripheral things, and allowing those inessential things to keep us distracted from the things that really matter. We become comfortable with our understanding and our position, settled in a kind of rut in our prayer or in the amount we toss into the collection basket, and we don’t want any disruption or challenge.

It seems easier to live a cramped spiritual life, convinced we are “good enough” as we are. After all, we aren’t as bad as we could be. But are we as good as we should be? We are free to be wrong, but God does all He can to keep us from remaining there. God is endlessly calling us to MORE, to a deeper understanding, to a more profound relationship with Him, to a more generous love.

But it takes spiritual effort to open ourselves fully to all the Lord longs to pour into us, all that He calls us to be, all that He wants us to do. And so, we can limit ourselves, thinking that we aren’t made for more than this little portion, and we say, “this is enough.” I’ve learned enough, given enough, served enough. I pray enough. I love enough.

But is it ever enough when it comes to God? Can we be grateful enough? Can we love enough?

Put another way, can we possibly think God ever looks at us and says, “Yeah, that’s good enough,” and then moves on to some other task? Of course not! So while we are here on earth, let us continually offer ourselves freely to the love of God and grow in our relationship with Him, becoming more and more like Christ, surrendering our wills more and more, so that He is free to shine through us fully! 

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Toda la creación, toda la historia, toda la profecía, toda la oración conducía y anhelaba la venida de Cristo. Y sin embargo, aquellos que deberían haber reconocido las señales y regocijado en su venida fueron los mismos que lo rechazaron a Él ya Su precursor, Juan. Las personas piadosas y religiosas, los escribas y los fariseos, los acusan como niños llorones que no pueden ser satisfechos. Peor aún, estaban tan convencidos de que tenían razón y de que su juicio era justo, que nada podía convencerlos de lo contrario. Se establecieron en sus caminos y no vieron la necesidad de ser interrumpidos. Estaban satisfechos con su posición y no querían ningún desafío. Habían labrado sus horizontes (¡según la Ley!) y se negaban a ver más allá.

Estaban tan ensimismados, engreídos, farisaicos y testarudos, que se volvieron sordos y ciegos a la Verdad.

No somos muy diferentes de los escribas y fariseos. También podemos hacer la vista gorda y oídos sordos a lo que es verdad. Este es el riesgo aterrador que viene con la libertad real. Está destinado a ser un regalo glorioso, pero con demasiada frecuencia es trágicamente mal utilizado.

Podemos optar por permanecer ciegos y sordos a la verdad, quejándonos de cosas periféricas y permitiendo que esas cosas no esenciales nos distraigan de las cosas que realmente importan. Nos sentimos cómodos con nuestra comprensión y nuestra posición, establecidos en una especie de rutina en nuestra oración o en la cantidad que arrojamos a la canasta de la colecta, y no queremos ninguna interrupción o desafío.

Parece más fácil vivir una vida espiritual estrecha, convencidos de que somos “suficientemente buenos” tal como somos. Después de todo, no somos tan malos como podríamos ser. Pero, ¿somos tan buenos como deberíamos ser? Somos libres de estar equivocados, pero Dios hace todo lo que puede para evitar que nos quedemos allí. Dios nos está llamando sin cesar a MÁS, a una comprensión más profunda, a una relación más profunda con Él, a un amor más generoso.

Pero se necesita un esfuerzo espiritual para abrirnos completamente a todo lo que el Señor anhela verter en nosotros, todo lo que Él nos llama a ser, todo lo que Él quiere que hagamos. Entonces, podemos limitarnos, pensando que no estamos hechos para más que esta pequeña porción, y decimos, “esto es suficiente”. He aprendido lo suficiente, dado lo suficiente, servido lo suficiente. Rezo lo suficiente. Amo lo suficiente.

Pero, ¿alguna vez es suficiente cuando se trata de Dios? ¿Podemos estar lo suficientemente agradecidos? ¿Podemos amar lo suficiente?

Dicho de otra manera, ¿podemos pensar que Dios alguna vez nos mira y dice: “Sí, eso es lo suficientemente bueno”, y luego pasa a otra tarea? ¡Por supuesto que no! Así que mientras estemos aquí en la tierra, ofrezcamos siempre libremente al amor de Dios y crezcamos en nuestra relación con Él, haciéndonos cada vez más como Cristo, entregando cada vez más nuestra voluntad, para que Él sea libre de brillar a través de nosotros completamente.

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Kathryn Mulderink, MA, is married to Robert, Station Manager for Holy Family Radio. Together they have seven children (including Father Rob), and seven grandchildren. She is President of the local community of Secular Discalced Carmelites and has published five books and many articles. Over the last 30 years, she has worked as a teacher, headmistress, catechist, Pastoral Associate, and DRE, and as a writer and voice talent for Catholic Radio. Currently, she serves the Church by writing and speaking, and by collaborating with various parishes and to lead others to encounter Christ and engage their faith. Her website is

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