Making God #1 in Our Lives
Turn our hearts around! Lent provides the universal church and each of us a good time for self-reflection and practices that lead to a change of heart, true conversion. In this week’s readings, we are reminded that soon after Jesus’ baptism, he went to the desert where he was tempted. And he resisted! When you read the Gospel, or hear it proclaimed this weekend, pay close attention to the way Jesus responds to the devil, to the temptation to put self before God. How often do we do that?
Is God first in our lives? Above all else? What evidence do we have for that?
This Sunday we celebrate the Rite of Sending and the Rite of Election with our catechumens and candidates. Our adults, teens and children have been discerning their calls to conversion, to radical change in their hearts. Perhaps the questions they are reflecting on will spur us to return to making God #1 in our lives.
- What concrete evidence in your life demonstrates that you have listened to Go’s word and have been formed and transformed by it?
- In what way have you patterned your life on Jesus’ life in the Gospels? How have you changed?
- What evidence in your life and in your actions demonstrates that you have taken the word of God out into your world?
- What evidence in your life demonstrates that you are incorporated into the life of prayer and worship of the Catholic community?
Called to BE Providence
Recently, my community, the Sisters of Divine Providence gathered to reflect on what we are experiencing as the call to be Providence. Sister Marie McCarthy provided some wonderful reflection pieces for us.
What does it mean to name God Providence? God provides everything we need. We love that about God. AND the mystery of Providence is even larger and more profound than this, because the mystery of Providence is incomplete without our response. Sister Marie tells us that
Providence, the Energy of Love, is the mystery of the ongoing, enduring interrelationship between the God who makes all things possible and us creatures, handiwork of the creative activity of Love—creatures made in the very image and likeness of Holy Mystery, creatures who are themselves creative.
Each of us then, by virtue of the relationship we have with God, has the ability, the choice to continue God’s Providence by becoming involved in creating new possibilities, new connections to all of life. Sister Marie says:
The call to be Providence in our world is a call to engage actively in bringing about the transformation of the world….To be Providence is to trust, not in the false treasures of material possessions, better arms, and fleeting securities, but in the foolhardiness of casting aside these concerns for the sake of building a genuine human community, founded in justice and relying on Providence.
To be Providence is to find one’s treasure in that community of people who give themselves to radical hope. That hope, she says, is “a thoroughly engaged and courageous hope which faces the overwhelming evils and possibilities for destruction which surround us and yet persistently plans for, hopes in, and builds towards that future which God desires.”
We discover what God desires for us, what God provides as new opportunities to serve our brothers and sisters when we gather as a community of radical hope and we search for ways to be Providence for our world. See you on Sunday to explore together!
November 1, 1938 – February 21, 2017
Norm Elder, age 78, passed away on Tuesday, February 21, 2017, in San Antonio, TX. A vigil will be held at 7 pm on Thursday, March 2. The funeral Mass will be held at 10 am on Friday, March 3. Both services will take place at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church.
Holiness is About All of Our Relationships
What do “holiness” and “love of enemies” have in common? How should we respond to injury within the community? How do you imagine yourself being holy? Knowing that your body is a temple of the Lord, and therefore holy, what might you change in your behavior? If we all “loved our neighbors as ourselves” do you think there would be wars, trafficking of human persons, pornography, prisons, hunger, executions and poverty?
Wow! These readings are filled with images that are “different” from what we probably expect. Are you, like me, thinking “Do you really mean that, Jesus?” It’s just too hard to do this “love your enemies” thing!
Jesus spent his entire life on earth trying to teach us what it means to do the will of the Father, to be perfect as his heavenly Father and to trust that we have been given all that it takes to “love our neighbors as ourselves.” Jesus asked his disciples, and us, to think differently, live differently, love differently and talk differently. If we claim to be disciples of Jesus, then we too must “be holy.” Holiness is about all of our relationships, not just our relationship with God. It includes our relationships with others, even our enemies. It includes our relationships—our action and in-action—regarding so many of the things we pray for daily. We are called to ACT. And it also includes our relationship to ourselves, to our bodies which are temples of God and therefore holy.
Turn our hearts around, we pray. Help us to see, understand, love and act differently! Help us to be holy!
The weekend before Lent started, we gave out free copies of Matthew Kelly’s Resisting Happiness. We hope you have been enjoying this excellent resource on your Lenten journey. Once you have finished reading the book, we invite you to share your copy with someone who does not have one. If you do not have anyone particular in mind, you can drop your copy off at the parish office, and we will ensure that it gets put to use. Remember that Dynamic Catholic’s Best Lent Ever program at BestLentEver.com is the perfect accompaniment for Resisting Happiness.
Attention all St. Francis of Assisi ACTS alumni, please take a moment to go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DZ5YL65 and fill out your information. This will help us update our ACTS records and identify people who would like to serve on team. Thank you!
January 20, 1979 – February 8, 2017
He is survived by his mother Diana Hinojosa Rangel, his three children: Edmund Michael Rangel, Natalie Sierra Rangel and Jakob Mercado, (April, mother to Natalie Rangel and Jakob Mercado); brother, Stephen Edward Rangel, and many aunts, uncles, cousins and extended family members as well as his Brothers in Arms. He is preceded in death by his father, Edward Martin Rangel.
He served proudly in the U.S. Army in Kuwait, Bosnia, and Iraq and received several Decorations, Medals and Citations during his service. John Edmund, above all, loved spending time with his beloved family and sharing stories with his Brothers In Arms. He cherished every minute fishing with friends and family and sharing pictures of his of catches, be they small or large, with all of his cousins and friends.
Visitation will be held at Porter Loring North, 2102 North Loop 1604 East on Wednesday, February 15th from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM with a Rosary at 7:00 PM.
On Thursday, February 16th at 1:30 PM, a Mass will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 4201 De Zavala followed by a service a Fort Sam Houston with military honors. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your favorite Wounded Warrior organization.
Jesus Asks for More
Our readings for this weekend present us with numerous choices. Jesus uses the phrasing, “You have heard that it was said….But I say to you” to teach his listeners about the underlying authority of his words. Those who hear his Word are challenged to live fully by living in the deep spirit of the Law, not merely according to its literal meaning. For example, the commandment “Do not kill” means much more than physical killing. Jesus asks for more. Do not let anger, jealousy, retribution or anything that leads to killing in your hearts be a part of your life. Make amends. Reconcile with others. “Do not commit adultery” also asks us to be faithful in our hearts, to try to work things out, not give up, respect self and others and not objectify anyone. This mandate provides a critical insight into his entire mission. Jesus asks more of us.
The choices between life and death, good and evil, right and wrong and giving good examples or leading others astray might seem easy to us. But most of us know through lived experience that life gets messy and complicated. The wise person chooses the positive option, but we are always free to choose either. This is where we need wisdom. This is where we ask Jesus to help us turn all of our law-keeping into love and to co-create with God a world where justice, love and compassion are our choices. What life choices remind you of the challenge of being a disciple?
October 12, 1939 – December 31, 2016
Suddenly taken from us on December 31, 2016 in Alto, New Mexico, John Senyszyn, M.D., was preceded in death by mother Nellie Senyszyn and father Wasyl Senyszyn; also, by sister Mary Wysocki, brothers Nicholas Senyszyn and Alexander Senyszyn, nephew James Senyszyn, and granddaughter Nina Coco-Senyszyn.
John was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1939. He attended Brooklyn Technical High School, City College of New York, and Seton Hall Medical School. He did his residency at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center – New York in Radiation Oncology. He served in the public health service at the National Cancer Institute from 1968-1970.
John moved into private practice in El Paso, Texas, and worked for 36 years as a Radiation Oncologist in El Paso, Las Cruces, and the surrounding areas. He retired in 2011 and settled in San Antonio, Texas. He was known by his patients, colleagues, and family for his goodness, generosity, and kindness of heart. He was respected and loved by all who knew him.
He is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Dorothy; his sons Paul, Richard and wife Claire, Stephen and wife Georgina, and Adrian and wife Gaynor; grandchildren Peter, Katie, Caroline, Kevin, Andrew, Cora, Theo, Oliver, Miles and Ken; sisters Ann Marko, Helen Hawkins and husband George Hawkins; and multiple nieces and nephews. He will be sorely missed and is forever in our hearts.
Services will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church at 10 am on February 10. The family requests that donations be made to American Heart Association in lieu of flowers.
Kenneth Caruthers has been named Director of Communication for St. Francis of Assisi. Kenneth started working for the parish in October 2015 as an administrative assistant at the front desk. On September 26, 2016, Kenneth was appointed Interim Director of Communication. Kenneth has a Bachelor of Arts in History and Communication with a minor in Political Science from Trinity University. In addition to his work in the parish office, Kenneth is also involved in St. Francis’ Young Adult Ministry. A native of Lake Charles, Louisiana, Kenneth enjoys traveling back home to see family and friends whenever he can, especially now with crawfish season approaching. You can reach Kenneth with any communication requests at firstname.lastname@example.org.