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January 12, 2006 Edition

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Living the Scriptures
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The call of Christ:
Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening

photo of Mark Rose

Living the Scriptures 

with St. Paul University 
Catholic Center 

Mark Rose 

It is time to wake up and recognize the call of the Lord. God is calling for us every day, and like Samuel, we must answer with a valiant "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening."

But God, how do I know it's you and know what you are calling me to?

Yes, I am often burdened by these questions, frustrated by uncertainty and the perceived lack of response on the part of God. However, I know that through an exposure to the mysteries of the Church, the Word of Truth, and persistence in prayer, we come to understand one thing: that God tells us to be conformed to the love of Jesus Christ so we may receive the joys of everlasting life.

Second Sunday
in Ordinary Time
(Jan. 15, 2006)
1 Sm 3:3b-10, 19
Ps 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10
1 Cor 6:13c-15a, 17-20
Jn 1:35-42

That is all we need to know, for if we realize this, then the revelation and truth of God's plan resonates in us.

We must also realize that with the desire to seek God in our daily lives, we are also called to be of help to others.

With the help of Eli, Samuel is able to identify God's call to him, leading him to become prophet. With the help of John the Baptist and Andrew, Peter is introduced to Jesus as Messiah and he eventually becomes Cephas, Rock of the Church.

We are in need of others to help us recognize this call, but even more, we must help others seek out this call.

This awareness of God's call and reciprocating it to others is so important because St. Paul tells us that our bodies belong to Christ and are made to reflect his image. If we can grasp the desire of God's call in our hearts, it will allow us to conform our bodies objectively to the Lord.

With the submission of our mind, body, and soul to the call of God and the ability to respond with vigor, it will enable us to become one in spirit with him.

So let us search for truth and love with all of our hearts that we may be aware of God's call. Then we can humbly respond with joy and exuberant anticipation, "Speak Lord, your servant is listening."

Mark Rose is a senior at the UW-Madison majoring in philosophy. He leads a small group bible study in addition to various other activities at St. Paul University Catholic Center.

St. Paul's Web site is www.stpaulscc.org

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Faith Alive!

Faith Alive! logo

In a Nutshell

  • Civility and openness toward those who differ with us "does not commit us to a relativistic approach," Bishop George Niederauer of Salt Lake City, Utah, said in spring 2005.

  • He cautioned against labeling people and said that respect for the dignity of others with whom we disagree must be maintained.

  • Religion, Bishop Niederauer advised, "is a wondrous value only in humble hands."

    Catholic News Service
    3211 Fourth St NE
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  •  Food for Thought
    The ecumenical movement had an insight that may be valuable for communities trying to address situations involving polarization. Ecumenists, coming from different Christian bodies, obviously differed in important ways. What was discovered was that the tone of their conversations changed when instead of starting with points of difference, they started with points of common belief.

    This is not to say that the ecumenists then swept their differences under the carpet. It is a basic principle of ecumenism today that people involved in it need to know their own faith and be willing to present it well.

    The ecumenical discovery, however, was that when divided Christians are aware how much they share in terms of faith, they view their differences with greater hope and can make progress in resolving them. Sometimes they even discover that something they've considered a big dividing point actually isn't that at all.

    There are times when people of different faith communities or within the same faith community differ on true basics. But many times their differences don't quite involve that. How can people remain civil and welcoming even though they have points of disagreement? Numerous church leaders today are asking that question.

    full story

    Breaking the polarization ice
    By Barbara Stinson Lee

    Catholic News Service

    Central to the story of Disney's popular musical "Beauty and the Beast," is the concept of people's differences. Belle (who is Beauty) and her eccentric inventor father, Maurice, are outcasts in their town because she always has her head buried in a book, and Maurice is, well, just so different.

    Later we meet the beast, caught in an evil spell and ugly beyond imagination. He and Beauty are worlds apart in appearance, lifestyle, education, temperament. In the meantime, the evil spell is robbing even the beast's house staff of their humanity; they are turning more and more into inanimate objects -- a candlestick, a teapot, a feather duster.

    full story 

    Strategies for lessening polarization's force
    By Father Robert L. Kinast

    Catholic News Service

    Polarization is a fact of life in modern society. When polarization occurs among the church's people, it creates considerable concern.

    In the Catholic community there is a deep-seated assumption that all the faithful should be of the same mind on church matters. On the one hand, this assumption reflects the "sense of the faith" with which the Holy Spirit endows the baptized. On the other hand, it reflects the painful divisions which have occurred in the past and continue to challenge the church today.

    full story 

    The art of communicating when you see
    things differently
    By Jean Sweeney

    Catholic News Service

    We are rarely trained to communicate unless we find ourselves in marriage counseling. Seldom do churches or schools provide the skills training that could lead to a more peaceful world.

    In our culture we are bombarded with multiple examples of unskilled communications. Television sitcoms and reality shows are especially at fault, making humor out of anger, blame and put-downs.

    full story

    Faith Alive! logo
     Faith in the Marketplace
    This Week's Discussion Point:

    Do you have an insight, gained from the workplace or a school, for example, on how to build unity when people disagree forcefully about a concern?

      Selected Response From Readers:  
    Copyright © 2005 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

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    This week's readings

    Week of January 15 - 21, 2006

    Sunday, Jan. 15, 2006
    Reading I: 1 Sm 3:3b-10, 19
    Reading II: 1 Cor 6:13c-15a, 17-20
    Gospel: Jn 1:35-42

    Monday, Jan. 16, 2006
    Reading I: 1 Sm 15:16-23
    Gospel: Mk 2:18-22

    Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2006
    Memorial of Saint Anthony, abbot
    Reading I: 1 Sm 16:1-13
    Gospel: Mk 2:23-28

    Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2006
    Reading I: 1 Sm 17:32-33, 37, 40-51
    Gospel: Mk 3:1-6

    Thursday, Jan. 19, 2006
    Reading I: 1 Sm 18:6-9; 19:1-7
    Gospel: Mk 3:7-12

    Friday, Jan. 20, 2006
    Reading I: 1 Sm 24:3-21
    Gospel: Mk 3:13-19

    Saturday, Jan. 21, 2006
    Memorial of Saint Agnes, virgin and martyr
    Reading I: 2 Sm 1:1-4, 11-12, 19, 23-27
    Gospel: Mk 3:20-21

    Pope's Prayer Intentions

    January General Intention

    Unity of Christians. That the effort to bring about the full communion of Christians may foster reconciliation and peace among all the peoples of the earth.

    January Mission Intention

    Migrants. That Christians may know how to welcome migrants with respect and charity, seeing in each person the image of God.

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    Prayer for St. Raphael Cathedral

    O God,
    Whose word is like fire,
    who spoke to Your servant Moses in the burning bush;
    who led Your people Israel out of bondage
          with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night:
    hear Your people as we call upon You
    in both need and gratitude.

    May the Cathedral fire purify Your Church
    in the Diocese of Madison
    so that our hearts may burn with the knowledge
          that Your Church is built upon the bedrock
    of Your Son, Jesus Christ.

    Through the intercession of Saint Raphael,
          Your messenger of healing,
    in union with our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI,
    and with our Bishop, Robert C. Morlino,
    may we find comfort in our affliction
    and the courage to proclaim
          the Good News of Jesus Christ,
    who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
    one God forever and ever.


    For more prayer resources visit the Office of Worship's Web page at www.straphael.org/~office_of_worship/
    (Click on the link on the main page.)

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