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Parish Blog

Welcome to Mustard Seeds, the blog page at St. Joseph Church. A group of our very own parishioners will be contributing bi-weekly with the hope of inspiring you as we journey together in our faith.

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The World Spins

THE WORLD SPINS The world spins. Its downward spiral distorts and disorients. It’s contortions convulse in the spasms of death throes. Countries vie to be great again yet cannot transcend their tribalism. Fear seeks to squash anything. Anything different. Anything not understood....
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Simplicity: Having nothing yet possessing all things

Simplicity: Having nothing yet possessing all things (Matt 7:25-34)  Dependence on God. Today I pray for the grace of holy simplicity so that I may enjoy the simple things and depend only on You. Simplicity is not poverty.  It is living in joy.  It is celebrating life.  Simple...
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The “Best Version”

The “Best Version” See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we...
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True Colours

True Colours Wandering along a forest path on a glorious October day in Michigan, I revelled in the reds, pinks, oranges and golds of the turning leaves.  Aging… how beautifully they do it:  the green mask of chlorophyll seeps away and their true colours appear. Then a...
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Psalm 139

Psalm 139:13, 16 You created my inmost self, Knit me together in my mother’s womb. For so many marvels I thank you; A wonder am I, and all your works are wonders. Your eyes could see my embryo In your book all my days were inscribed, Everyone that was fixed is there. Knitting can...
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How Lovely to Let Go

How Lovely to Let Go I was scrolling through Facebook last week and I saw a beautiful fall picture with leaves collected in open hands.  The quote read, “The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let things go.”  Somehow, that spoke to me, right at that time, at this...
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Encountering God in the Autumn Season

ENCOUNTERING GOD IN THE AUTUMN SEASON Autumn arrives with abundance – abundance that touches all our senses. We see the colorful leaves as they crunch and crumble; the delicious smell of fruit and vegetables as they are converted into stews and desserts as well as the sound of...
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Always Becoming

Always Becoming One of the sounds of summer that I love is water sprinkling on the fresh cut grass and children’s squeals of delight as they run through it. The other day a phrase popped into my head … “water, water everywhere and nary a drop to drink!” It...
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Our Teachers

OUR TEACHERS Philosophers ask deep questions of life. Great minds unravel how and what of things. Inventors ask, why not. Explorers take us to new places, and leaders gather us together. But it is our parents who start us on the road to who we will become. They show us the window...
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‘Saint Alphonsus Liguori and The Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ’

  ‘Saint Alphonsus Liguori and The Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ’ The last couple of months, I have devoted mch of my prayer time on pondering and praying with: ‘The Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ’.  Although definitely not your average typical...
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Hanging on by a thread

Hanging on by a Thread In today’s reading we read Matthew’s account of the hemorrhaging woman’s encounter with Jesus. Every story of encounter with the divine is significant for us, but this woman’s story has a special place in my heart. First, she had suffered great physical...
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Mysteries

Mysteries I am not a devout prayer of the Rosary, but as I sit beside my dying loved one I find I cannot pray.  All my attempts are swamped by too many swirling thoughts and emotions and too little sleep. I take up my beads.  What Mysteries do I pray today?  Blank brain, so I...
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Choices

CHOICES My windshield wipers can barely take away the rain so that I can see my way clearly.  Day after day the rain falls.  My mood reflects the gloom of the day. A scripture tickles my mind –Isaiah 55:8  “For My thoughts are not your thoughts and your ways are not my ways,...
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Positive Ripples

Positive Ripples I recently attended a funeral for a person that died very suddenly and unexpectedly. We attended the funeral: a wonderful service with many people there to celebrate his life.  What struck me was that in the end there was one collage of pictures, one table of...
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Pentecost

Pentecost “This is Holy Ground, we’re standing on Holy Ground, for the Lord is Present and where He is is Holy”.[1] Recognizing the Holy in the here and now is the work of the Holy Spirit. How can we recognize the gentle promptings of the Spirit in the arena of...
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Spring is a Miracle

Spring is a Miracle Spring’s arrival can be swift or slow in coming. However, it always delivers a season of glory. The pussy willows pop their heads in greeting, early spring flowers grace the landscape, patches of green grass appear and the brilliant blue sky all add color to...
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Created in God’s Image

CREATED IN GOD’S IMAGE A space. A gap. Distance. Separation. Connotations of individuality. And if there is no space? Together. United. Joined. Communal. Connotations of embrace. Unity is an ideal that we strive for but our lived reality too often tends towards individuality....
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Same Old, Same Old!

Same old, same old! Has someone ever answered your question of how are you, with a ‘same old, same old’ response? A friend asked me if I had advice for a ‘same old, same old’ prayer time.  She said the Lord’s voice seemed absent from her time of prayer. It led me to wonde...
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A Lesson From the Paschal Mystery

A Lesson from the Paschal Mystery Christians seem to spend a lot of time thinking and talking about suffering and death. The crucifixion, the body and the blood of Christ, sacrifice, death and dying are all part of our regular religious devotions. It is not a pretty picture. And...
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Telescope

TELESCOPE If life is like a box of chocolates (Forest Gump), then faith is like a telescope. We have a choice in faith — the choice of which end of the telescope to look through. Looking through the eye-piece helps us to see things far away with more depth. Looking through...
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Listening Amid the Noise of Our World

Listening Amid the Noise of our World Lent can be a time devoted to prayer.  Creating a space and time for regular prayer takes discipline, a firm resolve and deep commitment.  Prayer comes in many different facets: that noisy cry for help, the lamenting, complaining, murmuring...
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Why I am Excited for Lent

Why I am excited for Lent… It’s February.  It’s cold.  The joy and wonder of Christmas has worn away with the scraping of the driveway for the thirtieth time this winter.  February can be a tough month for some in general and our spirits can begin to sag.  We may need something...
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Grace in the Space

Grace in the Space New Year’s resolutions have always been an important part of my life- lose some weight, eat healthier, drink more water, pray more, be more patient and the list went on. This year I decided to try a different approach. I am going to make space in my life for...
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Come Follow Me

“Come Follow Me” Our present Liturgical season is called “Ordinary Time” and yet there isn’t a single thing ordinary about it.  In the readings for the 2nd Sunday; the disciples ask Jesus where He is staying and Jesus says “Come an...
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What’s It Take to Get In?

WHAT’S IT TAKE TO GET IN? Libraries of books have been written on “the Kingdom of Heaven”, and what it takes to… “get in”. The answer to that final question of the great celestial entrance exam is in what has been said to be the most...
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Contemplation on the Nativity

Contemplation on the Nativity Lord Jesus, On this day so long ago, You were born to the Virgin Mary, A human child wrapped in swaddling cloth. Did You cry out as You were brought into the world? Did the cool night air shock your little body just newly born? Did Your Mother Mary...
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Too busy for Advent

Too Busy for Advent Advent is a time to pause and be reminded of the blessings that the birth of Christ means for us. But, to be honest, the world does not slow down at this time of year. It speeds up with a million things to do: gifts to buy, parties to attend, baking to get...
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Love & Water – Part Two Tilt the table ever so slightly, and watch the water on it move. It will flow to where it can flow no more, always finding its level. It flows until it is blocked. It waits for something to happen, anything that will allow it to flow again....
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Attitude of Gratitude

Attitude of Gratitude I am always amazed at friends and family that have the genuine gift of hospitality.  When I am invited over to these people’s homes, I feel so loved and appreciated and am always in awe of how they seem to be able to joyfully do this each time.  What a gift!...
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The Cycle of Life

The Cycle of Life With rake in hand and fertilizer spreader on deck I perused my front lawn covered with leaves.  My May Day trees and Lilac bush hadn’t totally finished dropping their leaves yet.  Would it snow soon?  Should I take a chance and wait another week? I looked up at...
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The Vibrant Vineyard

The Vibrant Vineyard The seasons are a reminder of God’s faithfulness and steadfast promises as they follow a natural cycle. Each season presents us with an opportunity to sink into the love of the Creator with the gifts offered to us. During October, our gospel messages invite...
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Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves As I watch the Autumn leaves swirling on the ground and hear the honking of those last geese heading south, I am often filled with sadness! In wondering why, I realize that spring and summer are my two favourite seasons. I love my sweet peas and know that it will be...
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Love and Water

LOVE and WATER:  (PART-1) Tilt the table ever so slightly, and watch the water on it move. It will flow to where it can flow no more, always finding its level. It flows until it is blocked. It waits for something to happen, anything that will allow it to flow again. Always...
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Be Still

Ah!   Finally the sun is shining. . .  as if it never stopped. I sit in my rocking chair, thanking God for this gift from our daughter: outside his ‘n’ hers rocking chairs attached to a small table in the middle.  Best gift!  It’s been out here through all the seasons just...
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Loving What Matters Most

Loving what Matters Most. 22 years ago I joined the Roman Catholic Church.    Recently, one of my United Church friends remarked that I must love the “Church and liturgy”, because, as he put it, “the theology of our two churches is so similar”. I have pondered that comment and...
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Mercy. Divine Mercy.

Mercy.  Divine Mercy. St. Maria Faustina Kowalska (OLM) shares beautifully her experience and encounters with the Lord Jesus in her diary published as “Divine Mercy in My Soul”.  I have recently signed up for short daily portions of this work as a way to both bolster my prayer...
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God’s Replenishing Reign (Rain)

GOD’S REPLENISHING REIGN (Rain) While carrying rain water back and forth to my flower beds this morning, giving them the precious liquid they are in such need of, I began to imagine the hearts of these flowers. What gratitude they had for the moisture they were receiving to...
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Waiting

WAITING…. How good are you at “waiting”? What emotions and feelings are exposed when you hear the words, “PLEASE WAIT”! We all wait. It is entwined in our human existence. Waiting occurs every day and we can embrace it or rebel against it. In our hurried western culture we...
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Father Almighty

FATHER ALMIGHTY                                                                                        We like to think of God as the “Almighty” …and God is. And as Creator …and God is.  And as all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-present — omnipotent, omniscient, and...
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Perseverance

Perseverance After spending so much time on my first submission for a blog, I had neglected to consider how many words I would need to tell that story. It was too long!  I needed to try again!  Initially I was discouraged at my own suggestion.  I am a story teller, and I am...
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When Light Overcomes Darkness

Happy Easter! This year, as usual, the Easter Vigil was a feast of beauty and blessing. One of the most beautiful moments was when light overcame the darkness as, candle by candle, participants passed on the light of Christ. Days later, a friend posted a photograph of that moment...
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Unbinding

Unbinding There is a hidden gem in the eleventh chapter of John’s Gospel, the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, which we heard recently.  The great miracle Jesus performed easily overshadows the last words which Jesus speaks to the crowd.  They are a bit...
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Quiet in His Presence

Ideally, our Lenten days should be days spent in quiet reflective time deep within our inner self, in the core of our being where our loving Lord resides and waits. Our experience of life here on planet earth can be busy, hurried, noisy, stressful, and consists of prayer on the...
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Drink from the Fountain of Mercy

Fr. Leo gave a homily in January about the importance of bridging the gap between our faith life/going to mass and our ‘everyday life’. My daily life, much like many others, is sometimes very busy, stressful, joyful, full of laughter, sometimes tears, work, home duties, helping...
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The Dancer

The Dancer She is light, lithe and limber as she dances with the waves. She spreads her skirt in a curtsy greeting as she begins to twirl and twist into the lapping ocean. As she prances, bows and plunges into the rhythm of her dance, the waves embrace her toes, ankles, thighs...
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From the Heart

As Valentine’s Day approaches, I think back to the Old Days of Norman Rockwell and his drawings for the Saturday Evening Post! I imagine a young fella dashing into the store to grab some flowers, and then I see him at the other end tenderly handing them to a blushing young...
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Not the Best Way to Get Clean

ROLLING IN THE MUCK IS NOT THE BEST WAY TO GET CLEAN The Sermon on the Mount is, in my opinion, one of the more beautiful of scripture passages.  It shows Jesus’ natural gentleness and is one of the most concise examples of how God values not only what we don’t like, but actively...
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New Year’s Resolution

New Year’s Resolution A new year … time for renewal. What is God calling me to do at this time? Do I look at what others are doing and compare myself to that?  or Do I look at what God has blessed me with and what I can do with it? Sometimes as we age, our body takes on a mind of...
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Epiphany

Searching to find the Light of Christmas. On January 6th, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Epiphany. The Epiphany is the biblical event where the Magi, also called the Three Wise Men, traveled from the East to pay homage to the newborn King, Jesus Christ. Tradition and art...
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Cold Comfort: Blessings in Winter

“Cold enough for ya?” said the stranger with a grin.   I laughed and rolled my eyes in reply in a moment of camaraderie between fellow northerners.  Winter in our city is cold, long and dark – a season I often trudge through with resignation and a certain pride in my...
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