When God Chooses from Unlikely Quarters

by Rev. Williams Abba  |  01/26/2023  |  Forming the Flock

There was a king who had three sons, the youngest of whom was called Simpleton and was despised and mocked for his overwhelming stupidity. By the end of the story, however, it is Simpleton who has won the hand of the Princess and inherited the kingdom. In the world of the fairy tale, it is usually the least likely candidate who wins in the end. The least candidate likely is often the youngest son, who is seen to be stupid compared with his elder brothers: he is innocent of their worldly wisdom and cunning. He is the psychological summary of all that is weak and third-rate, and his chances of success in life are regarded as a joke.

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“To live is to change. To be perfect is to have changed often.”—St. John Henry Newman

by Dr. Larry Fraher, Ph.D.  |  01/19/2023  |  Forming the Flock

Transitions in life can be many things. Some transitions are exciting and new: the birth of a child, taking a dream job, achieving a goal like graduating from high school or college. Other transitions can be very hard. We find ourselves in a good place, things humming along, and—WHAM!—change is thrust upon us: the death of a friend or relative, the loss of a relationship, the loss of a job. As we journey through change, however perceived, there are temptations that we must resist in order to discover Christ’s love in our midst. Ultimately, we come to realize that regardless of the values that we assign to transitions in life, today’s readings offer us a promise of life solidified in Christ.

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Awareness Sunday

by Deacon Bill Schneider  |  01/12/2023  |  Forming the Flock

All of us need to be recognized and accepted for who we are. Despite our faults and failings, we need to be included, wanted, and loved. When we are appreciated and loved, we feel secure. We can manage, no matter how difficult life becomes. And when we know that we are special and have dignity, we recognize that we too are God’s chosen ones, members of His family who are accepted, cared for, and loved.

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The Power of the Vulnerable is Love

by Deacon Jeff Strom  |  01/05/2023  |  Forming the Flock

Magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews?” When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all of Jerusalem with him. Jesus, the baby king, is more powerful than Herod and all the kings, dictators, presidents, and rulers of our world. The power of the powerless is love—in our Lord’s birth and in the vulnerable today. The power of the vulnerable is love, including in our parish. Writing about the vulnerable, Chris de Vinck told how his brother Oliver was born profoundly disabled in New Jersey—blind, crippled, incapable of speaking or even chewing solid food. He would never learn, run, or hold a fork.

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