<TW>Weekend of 26 and 27 December 2009

.=:  T H I S    W E E K E N D  :=.
     from Father Pat Umberger

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I R E L A N D    2 0 1 0
In 2004 I led a wonderful Pilgrimage to Ireland, the Emerald Isle. I spoke
with Gary from Pentecost Tours today and he's putting together a
Pilgrimage to Ireland for the Fall of 2010 .... probably in October. Keep
it in the back of your mind ... or start saving your nickels. I'll let you
know when firm dates and other information is available. For now, let's
pray for the success of this wonderful Pilgrimage! If you're interested
visit my Web Site and sign up for informational e-mails.  www.frpat.com

A D E S S E    R A F F L E    C A L E N D A R S
Here's a great way to help Saint Patrick's Parish and have something to
look forward to all year long. Our Adesse Raffle Calendars offer a prize
every day in 2010 ... from $30 to $500 each day.  Prizes total $16,580. 
No more than 3000 calendars are sold.  If you're interested in helping
out, just follow the banner link from:  www.frpat.com

B I S H O P   L I S T E C K I
Chosen to be Eleventh Archbishop of Milwaukee?
We keep Bishop Listecki very much in our prayers!  So where does that
leave us.  Visit my Web Site for a complete explanation of how our new
Bishop will be chosen.  Just follow the link from:  www.frpat.com

.=:  V O L U M E   2 0 0 9 , Number 12-27 :=.

.=:  T H I S   W E E K E N D ' S   S C R I P T U R E S  :=.

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Year C.
Weekend of 26 and 27 December 2009

.=:  R E F L E C T I O N    Q U E S T I O N S  :-.

The Scriptures for this weekend are found here:
   http://www.nccbuscc.org/nab/110109.shtml

"I prayed for this child, and the LORD granted my request. Now I, in turn,
give him to the LORD; as long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the
LORD."  How do we dedicate our children to the Lord.  How do we let our
children know about this?

"Blessed are they who dwell in your house, O Lord."  Who are the people
we'd rather not see in the Lord's house.  How can we get ready to live in
peace with them right now?

" ... if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence in God and
receive from him whatever we ask, because we keep his commandments and do
what pleases him."  Do we do these things?

"Put on, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion,
kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and
forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord
has forgiven you, so must you also do."  How is this a lifetime job? 
Which parts of it are the most difficult for us?

"When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to
him, 'Son, why have you done this to us?'"  How do we react when our
children cause us anxiety?  How can a holy family work on these things
together.

If we truly lived as holy families, how would the world change?

How are these Scriptures comforting?  Challenging?

.=:  S P I R I T U A L   R E F L E C T I O N   :=.

"Put on, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion,
kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and
forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord
has forgiven you, so must you also do."  What a great road map for a holy
family life!

Families are complicated, aren't they?  People are different from one
another.  Some demand lots of attention.  Others are very helpful. Still
others may fade into the woodwork if we let them.  Still, it's important
that we reach out to each person and care for them.  It's not always easy
to know how best to do that.

When parents have children they must be filled with great joy, yet with
inadequacy as well.  "How will I know what to do?"  "What do I have that I
can pass on to this child?"  "How can I be the very best parent possible
and help this child grow up as a child of God?"  In order to do the best
job, we need help.  God provides that help!

A holy family needs to have a focus.  The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and
Joseph certainly did.  They sought God's will and always did what God
wanted them to do.  The question was not so much, "What do we want?" as
"What does God want?"  Then they simply lived out God's will for them.

We can picture the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We always need to remember God's
love for us.  We can see this in the flames coming from Jesus' exposed
heart, a heart burning with love for us.  The thorns around Jesus' heart
reminds us of the effects of our sinfulness, but that Jesus continues to
love us and to call us back. This love will always be there for us.  How
do we respond to that kind of love?

 We simply live out the promises made at our Baptism, and carry out the
promises we made to our children when we presented them for Baptism. We
come to Church on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation and make sure our
children do the same.  We teach our children to love as Christ taught us
by the way we treat family members, neighbors and all people around us. 
As we strive to walk in the footsteps of Jesus our children are given a
living example of what that means.

So being a Holy Family means seeking God's will and doing God's will. We
have many challenges to meet in our families, that's for sure. There are
families around us who have contrary and confusing values. In order to
live as truly holy families we need to beware of such examples and be sure
to point out sinfulness to our children where it exists.  We need to
summon the courage to stand up for what is right and not allow
destructiveness to continue due to our silence and seeming acceptance and
approval.

It's not easy work to build a Holy Family.  Luckily, we don't have to do
it alone.  God will give us all that we need if we but seek his will and
his help.  Have a good week!

(c)MMIX Fr. Pat Umberger.  This Spiritual Reflection is found each week at
the Web Site www.frpat.com. Feel free to link to this page or reproduce
them for parish use as long as this credit remains.


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<TW>This Weekend is free, and comes from:
Father Pat Umberger, a priest of the Diocese of La Crosse
in Wisconsin U.S.A.
Web Site: www.frpat.com   
Evangelization (reaching out): www.cmonback.com  

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