This is the time of fulfillment.
The kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the gospel
Here is the first of the 2015 Lenten series of designs. I will be creating a Facebook Cover and a general image sized to share on other social media outlets for each of the weeks of Lent. Be sure to stop by each week.
The readings for the first Sunday of Lent (cycle B) can be found here on the USCCB website.
I have chosen a line from the Gospel reading for the day:
Before you leave, be sure to check out last year's general Lenten themed facebook covers here...
Pope Francis' recent tweet “Advent increases our hope, a hope which does not disappoint. The Lord never lets us down" is my inspiration for this month's First Friday with Francis image.
Most of us tend to think of hope as in "I hope something will happen." This is not what is meant in our Christian understanding of hope. Our Christian definition of hope is "confident expectation." Hope is a firm assurance regarding things that are unclear and unknown. There is a certainty in our future that comes through the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit, through Christ who lives in us and through the promise of the Resurrection.
Hope is a powerful force. We are endowed with boldness our faith because of hope. Love springs from hope. Hope does not disappoint as the bible tells us (Romans 5:5). The advent message for all of us is to wait forGod in patient and steadfast hope... God will not disappoint.
Enjoy! Share your faith and your hope this advent season.
It's summertime and the living is easy....
For June's First Fridays with Francis I have pulled 5 of my favorite tweets that our Holy Father has made in the month of June and given them a summertime feel. Enjoy and remember share your faith and share these images with others!
I let a First Friday get past me....Mea Culpa!
Perhaps it was meant to be as I would not have seen most recent advice from our Holy Father.
In his homily on June 9, Pope Francis reflected on the Beatitudes which are found in the Gospel of Matthew. He referred to them as "the Christian's Identity Card."
And, of course, I couldn't help but create my own ID card.
There are many things that Sacred Scripture tells us to do and to not do. We have been given the Ten Commandments and the Great Commandment. But the Beatitudes are a surefire blueprint for a way of life that will lead us to be true Intentional Disciples. They are our Christian "I.D."
Follow the advice of our Holy Father who says:
"Today, if you have a little time at home, pick up the Gospel of Matthew, the fifth chapter: the Beatitudes are at the beginning...It will do you good to read” this plan of holiness “once, twice, three times”.
I look forward to First Fridays with Francis and sharing what our Holy Father has said that has been inspirational to me.
This month I have taken my inspiration from his homily at Mass celebrated in the Santa Marta residence on April 24. Pope Francis spoke of Christians who are afraid of the joy of Christ’s resurrection. He compared them to bats hiding in dark caves that prefer the shadows and avoid the light.
“This is a Christian’s disease. We’re afraid of joy. It’s better to think: Yes, yes, God exists, but He is there. Jesus has risen and He is there. Somewhat distant. We’re afraid of being close to Jesus because this gives us joy. And this is why there are so many ‘funeral’ (mournful) Christians, isn’t it? Those whose lives seem to be a perpetual funeral. They prefer sadness to joy. They move about better in the shadows, not in the light of joy, like those animals who only come out at night, not in the light of day, who can’t see anything. Like bats. And with a little sense of humor we can say that there are Christian bats who prefer the shadows to the light of the presence of the Lord.” – Pope Francis
Bats are nocturnal animals. They fly and seek their food at night, and during the day they want a safe place to sleep. Caves often are the place of choice for many bats as they provide the protected shelter that they bat can thrive in. Some species live in large cave colonies that have millions of members, even up to 20 million in one cave. When they go out and fly in the dark they use echolocation, a process by which sound waves bounce off objects and back to the bat. They use this as their way to locate food and avoid obstacles in the dark. Bats have the ability to create and hear noises that humans cannot hear. It is those sound waves bouncing back that help them to judge the size and distance of objects around them. These subsonic noises vary in length and pulse frequency, and are unique to the individual. Each bat recognizes its own pulse reflections, just like we recognize another human voice. Bats recognize and use their voice, that personal pulse frequency, to navigate where things are around them and distinguish their “voice” from other bat “voices.”
After dark, the bats will leave in large groups. But Before leaving they prepare themselves for this departure by flying around inside the cave. Flying around with thousands of other bats inside a cave creates a chaotic amount of noise! When bats are paying attention to their sonar signals, they can navigate without crashing into things. In the cave while in this pre-departure madness before they take off they choose not to listen to their personal voice even though their echolocators are on. So what would happen if a person suddenly appeared in their cave among these flying bats? The bats would crash into them. The famous bat expert, Dr. Donald. R. Griffin, called this phenomenon the "Andrea Doria effect." The Andrea Doria, as you may well remember, sank when it crashed into another ship out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
Are you starting to see some parallels?
We too can hide in our safe caves choosing the darkness over the light of Christ. We can choose to not listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit that guides us and instead just fly chaotically around in our caves where we eventually just crash and sink.
As Christians, we can may the choice to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit over the noise and chaos of the world. We can make the choice to come out of our safe dark caves and soar into the light. Our Holy Father reminds us that we do not have to be afraid of the joy that comes from knowing the full truth of the resurrection and living as intentional disciples of Christ.
MY FAVORITIE PHOTO OF THE MONTH!
Duck, duck, goose!
HOMILY OF POPE FRANCIS
PALM SUNDAY OF THE LORD'S PASSION
ST PETER'S SQUARE
13 APRIL 2014
This week begins with the festive procession with olive branches: the entire populace welcomes Jesus. The children and young people sing, praising Jesus. But this week continues in the mystery of Jesus’ death and his resurrection. We have just listened to the Passion of our Lord. We might well ask ourselves just one question: Who am I? Who am I, before my Lord? Who am I, before Jesus who enters Jerusalem amid the enthusiasm of the crowd? Am I ready to express my joy, to praise him? Or do I stand back? Who am I, before the suffering Jesus?
We have just heard many, many names. The group of leaders, some priests, the Pharisees, the teachers of the law, who had decided to kill Jesus. They were waiting for the chance to arrest him. Am I like one of them?
We have also heard another name: Judas. Thirty pieces of silver. Am I like Judas? We have heard other names too: the disciples who understand nothing, who fell asleep while the Lord was suffering. Has my life fallen asleep? Or am I like the disciples, who did not realize what it was to betray Jesus? Or like that other disciple, who wanted to settle everything with a sword? Am I like them? Am I like Judas, who feigns loved and then kisses the Master in order to hand him over, to betray him? Am I a traitor? Am I like those people in power who hastily summon a tribunal and seek false witnesses: am I like them? And when I do these things, if I do them, do I think that in this way I am saving the people?
Am I like Pilate? When I see that the situation is difficult, do I wash my hands and dodge my responsibility, allowing people to be condemned – or condemning them myself?
Am I like that crowd which was not sure whether they were at a religious meeting, a trial or a circus, and then chose Barabbas? For them it was all the same: it was more entertaining to humiliate Jesus.
Am I like the soldiers who strike the Lord, spit on him, insult him, who find entertainment in humiliating him?
Am I like the Cyrenean, who was returning from work, weary, yet was good enough to help the Lord carry his cross?
Am I like those who walked by the cross and mocked Jesus: "He was so courageous! Let him come down from the cross and then we will believe in him!" Mocking Jesus….
Am I like those fearless women, and like the mother of Jesus, who were there, and who suffered in silence?
Am I like Joseph, the hidden disciple, who lovingly carries the body of Jesus to give it burial?
Am I like the two Marys, who remained at the Tomb, weeping and praying?
Am I like those leaders who went the next day to Pilate and said, "Look, this man said that he was going to rise again. We cannot let another fraud take place!", and who block life, who block the tomb, in order to maintain doctrine, lest life come forth?
Where is my heart? Which of these persons am I like? May this question remain with us throughout the entire week.
This week, Holy Week, more than any other week in our liturgical year I ponder the question - Who am I like in the story?
For at different times I am like Judas,
at times I am like Peter...
I am like the guards who mock him..
I am the like the women who mourn him...
First Fridays with Francis are a time where I share something that Pope Francis has said that has been a source of inspiration for me. This month's First Fridays with Francis words come from his Angelus Message of 3/24/14, the third Sunday of Lent. The entire message is one of such joy and such encouragement, that it was hard to pick just one part to share.
What an amazing thought. Jesus thirsts to encounter those of us who are parched. Those of us who are lost and seeking. He wants us to ask those questions that we have been too afraid to ask in the past. There is profound freedom in knowing that he waits, that he more than waits - he thirsts - to encounter those of us who are parched.
Thank-you once again Pope Francis for sharing with us words of hope and faith.
by Cyndi Marlow
The above image is created for sharing via social media! Please share if you agree!
Evangelizing the digital continent!
We each may be only one person, but together we are
all part of one body.
What is Embedded Faith? Simply put, this is a "gralog" (graphics + blog) providing images and thoughts to evangelize the digital continent.
Click to find out more.
How do I download
To download any image, just right click and choose "file save as".
Can I use your image on my website or publication?
Yes! All images are creative commons and are free to use. Credit or a link to this site is appreciated.
Images may not be sold.