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3/8/18 9:13 A

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When you have a big decision to make, who do you talk to? Whose advice are you looking for when you got a big decision to make in your life? Very often, where we do have big decisions to make, we ask just about everyone who knows just about nothing about just about anything what they think we should do, which is a mistake of colossal proportions. Not that these people are not good, not that they don't love you, not that they're not interested in you, they're simply unqualified to help you answer the question that you're trying to answer. They lack the knowledge, they lack the context, they lack the history necessary to really help you make the decision that you need to make. Which is why God's given you this voice within you, this calm, gentle, but firm voice within you (which we call conscience) to help you make decisions.

I can't think of a time where I did what my conscience was encouraging me to do and I ever ended up regretting that. I can't think of a time, in my whole life.

You want to live an authentic life? Start listening to your conscience. The more you listen to it, the stronger it gets. The more you obey it, the more you live with it, the more you partner with it, collaborate with it, the stronger it gets. And the stronger it gets, the easier it is to hear.

To live an authentic life, to know you're living an authentic life, to know that you're doing your best—not that you're perfect, but to know that you are working very, very hard to live an authentic life—is an amazing thing. And it's a reward unto itself.

What I believe is based on my lifetime of experiences, decisions, challenges, sufferings, and joy. My beliefs keep my life in perspective. They check my actions and influence the way that I live my life.

Here are some of my beliefs:

I believe that God is faithful.

I believe that I am meant to be truly happy in this life and the next.

I believe that everyone wants to love and be loved.

I believe the Catholic Church provides all the answers we need to understand life.

I believe that God's dreams for my life are bigger and better than the dreams I have for myself.

I believe in the importance of giving people the benefit of the doubt.

I believe in the beauty of loving my family, imperfections and all.

I believe in letting things go and letting the past be the past.

And I believe in the power of a good deed, simple “hello,” and random act of kindness.

What are your beliefs?

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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3/8/18 8:49 A

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Return to Me with Your Whole Heart

Today's Readings

Jeremiah 7: 23-28; Luke 11: 14-23

Reflection for Today

Even now, says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart, for I am gracious and merciful.

We see the face of God everywhere. Help me to show mercy, Lord, to all whom I meet – beggars and sinners. Let me be attentive to their cries; let me hear them and bring them back to you. Let me always remember your words, “What you did for the least of my children, you did unto Me”. Let us sing joyfully to the Lord, the rock of our salvation.

God is our refuge and our strength, ever present in our distress. Our mothers turn to our God, and although fearful, are not shaken, because God is ever present in our midst.

Prayer for Today

Lord, You are the salvation of all people. Hear my cry and my distress and deliver me from them. God, save me by your name, by your power, defend me. Hear my prayer and give ear to the words of my mouth. Amen.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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3/7/18 1:57 P

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Today's Readings

Deuteronomy 4: 1, 5-9; Matthew 5: 17-19

Reflection for Today

The US Marines adopted the phrase Semper Fidelis, which is Latin for “always faithful.” It is not a bad motto for anyone, inside or outside the military.

In today’s gospel Jesus lets us know that He is faithful and has fidelity to all of His Father’s commandments that were passed on through the ages.

Rules are important for all of us to follow but sometimes we may not understand why certain rules are in place and if they are really necessary. This is when fidelity and trust come into play. We need to trust God even when we do not understand. His rules, His commandments bring us and our environment peace. When we break His commandments and His law the result is chaos.

Prayer for Today

Dear Jesus, teach me to practice more fidelity to You particularly when I may be confused or unsure why I need to act in a certain way. May I constantly be inspired by Your Divine Mercy so I will know that as I practice fidelity I am progressing on the journey to your sacrificial love. Amen.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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3/5/18 8:02 A

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No Prophet is Accepted in His Native Place

Today's Readings

2 Kings 5: 1-15b; Luke 4: 24-30

Reflection for Today

How do we push away God? That may seem like an odd question, but in light of both of today’s readings, perhaps we should give it some thought.

Sometimes God may give us some advice in the silence of our heart that we are not inclined to act upon. We know best, or we do not want to appear silly in front of those who know us, so we dismiss God. We push Him away.

Because many times receptivity to growth (emotional, spiritual or otherwise) occurs when you are not in your native place.

Prayer for Today

Dear Jesus, You always challenge us with your pure thoughts, and we thank you that you are patient with us so that we do have an opportunity to cast aside our pride and humbly follow you. Help me take a few extra steps today as I journey toward your sacrificial love. Amen.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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3/1/18 10:10 A

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Blessed are they who hope in the Lord

Today's readings

Jer 17:5-10; Luke 16:19-31

Reflection for today

Blessed are they who have kept the Word with a generous heart.

Trust in the Lord, your God, with your whole heart, your whole mind, your whole Spirit. He will not disappoint. Do not be like the rich man, dressed in purple garments and fine linens, and not care for your neighbors, and like Mary, they trusted God to deliver them from their fears. Reach out to all of God's children in their time of need. Be like the tree planted near running water and prosper in God's love.

Prayer for today

My God, see that my path is not wicked and lead me in the way everlasting. Cleanse me from every taint of wickedness that my gifts may be pleasing to You. Test me, O God, and know my thoughts. See that my path is not wicked, and lead me in the way everlasting. Amen.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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2/27/18 8:50 A

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Practice What You Preach

Today's Readings

Isaiah 1: 10, 16-20; Matthew 23: 1-12

Reflection for Today

It may be upsetting when famous people take a strong position on an issue, but then act in a manner that contradicts that position. Such people are generally called hypocrites, and Jesus calls such people to task in today’s gospel.

God calls us to have humble hearts, and as part of our journey to sacrificial love, Isaiah encourages us today to pay attention to the orphans and the widows and all those who are living on the edge of society, struggling to survive.

It may surprise you that folks are very quick to volunteer to help others who are disadvantaged and struggling. Many folks know what it is to “hit rock bottom” and to be down to their last dollar. Having projects and volunteer opportunities for people to help others, especially if they are unable to work. In this way they are taking attention away from their own problems, instead performing a work of mercy toward others, as Christ teaches.

Prayer for Today

Dear Lord, allow me to look inside myself today and discover the inconsistencies. Give me the courage to acknowledge how I may say one thing and act in a different way. Let my words and deeds be one as You are one with the Father and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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2/25/18 9:07 P

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THANK YOU BOB

NEVER GIVE UP!! EASTERN TIME


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2/25/18 2:52 P

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This Sunday we hear the familiar story of the Transfiguration, right? We've all heard this story before. There's so much that we can dig into, but one of the things I always wonder about when we hear this story is, what about the other nine apostles—the other nine who didn't get to go up on the mountaintop?

You hear so many times in the Gospels about Jesus going off with Peter and James and John in particular. It's almost like Jesus was playing favorites a little bit or something. And I always wonder . . . as they're coming down from the mountain, after they've seen Jesus transfigured, and they've seen this amazing thing, Jesus says to them, “Don't tell anybody. Don't tell anyone.” Do you think that included the other nine? Jesus says, “Don't tell anyone until after I've been raised from the dead.” And I always wonder . . . did Jesus raise from the dead and then Peter was like, “Hey, you know, we were on this mountaintop and this happened, and we saw this, and . . .” If you're one of the other apostles, what do you think about all that? Do you believe him?

St. Thomas didn't believe his fellow apostles when they said Jesus was raised from the dead—not at first. Do you think they believed what happened on the mountain?

Somebody once brought up to me the idea of a “holy nobody.” A holy nobody. A holy nobody is somebody who is striving for holiness, and no one ever notices. They're not some saint in the sense that everyone knows their name and knows what they did. They're not the head of some great ministry. They don't get any sort of attention for what they do. These are the people who just quietly live a holy life and don't ever really get recognition for it.

Now, I always wonder . . . if you're like a St. Bartholomew or St. Jude or one of the other apostles that just doesn't get much attention in terms of hearing about them in the Gospels, were they kind of like the original holy nobodies?

This week Matthew's going to talk about who we are and who we're going to become. And a big part of that is what we really want. And I think this Sunday's Gospel gives us an opportunity to ask “What do we really want? What do we really want from God? You know, do you want to be on the mountaintop? Do you need that? Or would you be OK with just being a holy nobody?

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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2/25/18 10:50 A

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This Sunday is the start of the second week of Lent. We still have five more weeks to continue our journey through the desert toward the oasis that is Easter and the Resurrection. Lent is a time to step away from familiar routines and see life from a new vantage point. It’s a chance to look inside our hearts and step outside our comfort zones, a chance to give God the space to reshape us in his image. The more focused we are during the journey, the greater our joy will be when Easter arrives.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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Gastric Sleevers - Leader

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2/24/18 4:28 P

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Repentance

Today's Readings

Ezekiel 18: 21-28; Matthew 5: 20-26

Reflection for Today

Our journey toward sacrificial love brings us to another Friday, a day when we abstain from meat and other earthly pleasures. Each Friday is an opportunity to reflect upon our sins as we think about how we may repent from our past and choose life for the present and future.

Ezekiel and Matthew make strong cases for repentance and give us hope that it is not too late to turn our life around. Similarly, we must also heed the warning that we can also backslide and fall out of a state of grace.

Repentance and forgiveness often go hand in hand. Many people struggle with repentance because they will need to forgive loved ones who have hurt and abandoned them. The cross is very real for them because they are doing their best to carry it.

Prayer for Today

Forgiving Jesus, on this Lenten Friday help me to carry my cross with patience and courage. I may stumble and fall as I try to repent from my past but it is okay. I trust you will help me up and together we will continue to walk. For if You, O lord, mark iniquities, who can stand? With You is forgiveness and plenteous redemption. Amen.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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