Sunday, January 20, 2013

MONDAY MORNNG MEDITATION for the week of January 20, 2013

Catholic Charities. Providing Help. Creating Hope. 

VISION: Believing in the presence of God in our midst, we proclaim the sanctity of human life and the dignity of the person by sharing in the mission of Jesus given to the Church. To this end, Catholic Charities works with individuals, families, and communities to help them meet their needs, address their issues, eliminate oppression, and build a just and compassionate society.

MISSION: Rooted in the Mission of the Diocese of Youngstown "to minister to the people in the six counties of northeastern Ohio . . .(and) to the world community", we are called to provide service to people in need, to advocate for justice in social structures, and to call the entire Church and other people of good will to do the same.

GOALS: Catholic Charities is devoted to helping meet basic human needs, strengthening families, building communities and empowering low-income people. Working to reduce poverty in half by 2020.

KEY VALUE: Hospitality

WHAT WE DO: Organizing Love. "As a community, the Church must practise love. Love thus needs to be organized if it is to be an ordered service to the community" (Deus Caritas Est, par. 20) 

On Sunday, ( Second Sunday in Ordinary Time   we read from the Gospel of John about Jesus’ first miracle: the transformation of the water into wine at the wedding in Cana.  This identification of Jesus’ first miracle, for John, is situated in a nearly universal setting:  a wedding feast.  This wedding feast connects us with the time of great joy -- in the garden of Eden -- but that which was lost with the first sin by Adam and Eve.  Human relationships, and our relationship with God, changed at that point.  With this wedding feast, wherein Jesus transform a simple element -- water -- into wine (signifying celebration, rejoicing, love) abundantly points to the good news of the Kingdom of God.  Love has truly been transformed.  God has visited His people to share life in great abundance.  We are called to celebrate and rejoice anew knowing that God’s love abundantly permeates the world. We have been transformed forever into children of God.

Catholic Charities  ( promotes and strengthens family life through many of its services and ministries directly, but aims to support families in each and every service we provide.  We understand, like the Wedding of Feast of Cana shows, that sometimes family dynamics can be painful or frayed (notice that the family hosting the wedding ran out of wine).  Through our Keep the Kids Warm campaign providing assistance to help families pay utility bills, or through our First Step for Change program which stands in solidarity with families with young children, Catholic Charities actively seeks out families that need that little extra help.  In our immigration program, we work diligently to reunite families.  In our Social Action work, we continuously advocate for family based and family friendly social policies that help struggling families and support strong families.  Even though we may never be able to change water into wine, like Jesus did, we know that as a ministry of the Church, we continue to share and spread that abundant love of Jesus to each person, family and community we serve.

Reflection from Church Documents and Official Statements

"May every Christian, in this Year of Faith, Rediscover the Beauty of being Reborn from Above"

VATICAN CITY, January 13, 2013 (

Here is the translation of the Holy Father's address before and after the recitation of the Angelus in St. Peter's Square today.
* * *
Dear brothers and sisters!

On this Sunday after Epiphany we conclude the liturgical season of Christmas: a time of light, the light of Christ that, as the new sun that appears on the horizon of humanity, disperses the darkness of evil and ignorance. We celebrate today the feast of the Baptism of Jesus: that Child, son of the Virgin, whom we contemplated in the mystery of his birth, we see today as an adult immersing himself in the waters of the Jordan River, and in this way sanctifying all water and the whole cosmos, as the Eastern tradition emphasizes. But why did Jesus, in whom there was no shadow of sin have himself baptized by John? Why did he wish to perform that gesture of repentance and conversion together with many others who wanted to prepare themselves for the coming of the Messiah? That gesture, which marks the beginning of Christ’s public life, is situated in the same line as the Incarnation, of God’s descent from the highest heaven to the abyss of hell (“inferi”). The meaning of this movement of divine abasement is summed up in a single word: love, which is the very name of God. The apostle John writes: “In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10). This is why the first act of Jesus was to receive the baptism of John, who, when he saw him coming, said: “Behold the lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29).

The evangelist Luke writes that while Jesus, after receiving the baptism, “was in prayer, the heavens opened and there descended upon him the Holy Spirit in bodily form, as a dove, and there came a voice from heaven: ‘You are my Son, the beloved: in you I am well-pleased” (3:21-22). This Jesus is the Son of God, who is totally immersed in the Father’s will of love. This Jesus is he who will die upon the cross and rise up by the power of the same Spirit that now comes to rest upon him and consecrates him. This Jesus is the new man who wishes to live as a son of God, that is, in love; he is the man who, in the face of the evil of the world, chooses the path of humility and responsibility, chooses not to save himself but to offer his life for truth and for justice. Being Christians means living in this way, but this way of life brings a rebirth: being reborn from above, from God, by Grace. This rebirth is the Baptism that Christ gave to the Church to regenerate men to new life. And ancient text attributed to St. Hippolytus: “Whoever enters this bath of regeneration, renounces the devil and aligns himself with Christ, renounces the enemy and recognizes that Christ is God, puts off slavery and puts on the filial adoption” (Sermon for Epiphany, 10: PG, 10 862).

Some important date(s) this week:

See website for biographies of Saints and Blessed celebrated this week.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 22.  Tuesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time — Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children

SUNDAY January 27.  Diocesan White Mass for Health Care Providers at 10:30 am at St. Columba Cathedral.



The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.

Corporal Works of Mercy:  The seven practices of charity toward our neighbor

  1. Feed the hungry
  2. Give drink to the thirsty
  3. Clothe the naked
  4. Shelter the homeless
  5. Visit the sick
  6. Visit those in prison
  7. Bury the dead

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See our website at for links to the our ministries and services.    
For more information on Catholic Social Doctrine and its connection to our ministries, visit my blog at:

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