Friday after Epiphany

1John 5:5-13; Luke 5:12-16

The Cleansing of a Leper

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

Once a member of our community was afflicted by chicken fox, so we immediately advised him to stay in the infirmary; in other words he was isolated. We didn’t want to be contaminated.

Persons with sore eyes have the same experience; people obviously stay away from them. We are afraid to mingle with people who have contagious disease. If possible, we don’t want to sit beside them and to dine with them.

Jesus in today’s gospel acted otherwise. He stretched out his hands and touched the leper. In the early times, persons with skin diseases were not or not holy and therefore were isolated from discourse with the community; they were banned from participation in temple worship. Jesus broke the boundaries separating clean from unclean by touching the leper and restoring to the fold of the human community: the leper was healed for two reasons: the unconditional love of God and his strong faith.

How do we relate with the outcasts, with the marginalized, the persons who are rejected? Do we relate with people because they are healthy, clean or have something to offer? We are reminded by Jesus to have “strong faith” in Him and break the barriers that hinder us from rendering our service to others especially the outcasts, the poor and the marginalized. (Rev. Teddy R. Abas, SVD Bible Diary 2002)

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Leprosy was and still is a dreaded disease. So dreaded a disease it is that a comparison is drawn between it and sin: as leprosy is to the body so is sin to the soul.

The man in our gospel story was covered with leprosy. Long before his moment of grace with Jesus, he must have longed to be cured for it.

Then the afflicted man heard of Jesus of Nazareth and how he had healed instantaneously people with various diseases, making even the blind see and the lame walk and dumb speak.

And his waited moment came. Before Jesus, the itinerant preacher, was now within reach. So he rushed to him past the crowds and, falling on his face.” before the Healer, implored him: “Sir, if you want to, you can cure me.” More than the anguish in his voice, there was the expectant faith welling up from his heart.

And that was all that Jesus needed to release His power, expectant faith. The miracle was effected – at once. A liberating freshness  descended on the believing man. He was only too ready to follow Jesus’ order to go show himself to the priest and make the needed offering for his healing.

Then, in summary form, the evangelist Luke writes: “His reputation continued to grow, and large crowds would gather to hear him and have their sickness cured, but he would always go off to some place where he could be alone and pray.”

The greatness of the man! He loved to be with people, serving them as only the savior that he was knew how. But he also loved to be with God his Father, communing with Him in the solitude that he ardently sought for. These were the two alternating moments of his life: being and doing., being with the Father and doing good for people in need.

A precious lesson, this – as we begin a new year. Time is God’s gift to us, a most precious gift. We should not squander it in a kind of aimless living. In gratitude to the Giver, we should rather spend it as wisely as we can: with God in prayer and with people in humble service. (Fr. Dong Alpuerto, SVD Bible Diary 2004)

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Lepers were tragic figures even before the time of Christ. Ancient people didn’t go near lepers. The latter were a social pariah. People were fearfully afraid they might be contaminated and suffer from the disease.

Already in the book of Leviticus, we read:  The lepers “must wear torn and tattered clothes, leave their hair disheveled and uncombed, cover the lower part of their faces and call out, ‘unclean, unclean!’” (Lev. 13:445-46). In fact, they were ostracized by society: they must live outside the camp away from others (civilization).

The leper was like a dead man/woman walking, living a hell of a life. They were considered curse for the sins they or their ancestors may have committed. People usually hated them. They in turn hated themselves.

It is not uncommon to hear even during these our times that some lepers resort to suicide as a way out of their tragic situation. It was too such kind of people that Jesus reached out a hand and healed them.

How compassionate are we toward the sick people who are afflicted with leprosy, HIV/AIDS, SARS and other contagious diseases? Lord, stretch out your hand to us and heal our fear and indifference towards our sick brothers and sisters. (Fr. Fred Mislang, SVD Bible Diary 2005)

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Leprosy is very symbolic of the human person in the state of sin. When a person is stricken with this sickness, the unity that is characteristic of one’s bodily function is disrupted. The affected portion of the body does not feel the sensation of pain. It is as if the affected portion is not any longer part of the body although it is still connected to it. Unless addressed and treated accordingly, that affected part very slowly contaminates the rest of the body bringing more disruption.

Jesus’ healing ministry during His lifetime was also symbolic of what His ministry was really about – to bring healing, health and unity to the human person who was mired in sin. The healing of the leper in today’s gospel is not one isolated event where pity over a sick person took the attention of Jesus. This event symbolizes Jesus’ ministry of bringing back oneness and unity to the human person who is divided within himself because of sin. “I do want to heal you!” we should let these words of Jesus ring clear in our ears whenever we are beset by the consequences of human pride and sinfulness. (Fr. Magdaleno Fabiosa, SVD Bible Diary 2008)

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Human immune-deficiency virus (HIV), the retrovirus that causes AIDS has already claimed the lives of 25 million people since it was known in late 1981. One of the recent missionary tasks of Divine Word Missionaries is helping persons with HIV/AIDS. We have, for example, the SVD brothers like Bro. Fabien, SVD who is based in Ngondi, Congo;  Bro. Damien Lunders, SVD, Bro. James Wilkins, SVD and Bro. Ronald Fratzke, SVD who work in Nong Bua Lamphu in Thailand. The missionary brothers help in the prevention of the virus; visit the sick in their homes; give moral support; facilitate education and awareness programs for the youth in the villages; establish a shelter for the homeless and an orphanage for children with HIV-AIDS; and pray with them.

An early counterpart of HIV/AIDS could possibly be ‘leprosy,’ the notorious illness in the ancient Near East. Although it is not exactly the same as the modern-day leprosy also called Hansen’s disease, leprosy was a serious threat to the lives of the Israelites (Lev. 13:14). Even the commander of the Syrian army, Naaman, was infected with this disease that he had to seek the help of Elisha (2 Kings 5). Even without the physical presence of Elisha, Naaman was healed by following the prophet’s instructions. He even brought with him a souvenir, a load of soil from Israel, so that he can worship the God of Israel in his own city in Damascus.

It is not common in the Bible that a prophet is at the same time a healer except Elisha and Elijah (1Kings 1 and 17-24). In the gospel reading today, Luke used this theme of prophet-healer. A chapter earlier, Jesus begins his public ministry as a prophet (Luke 4:16-30) and after choosing His disciples like the prophet Elijah (Luke 5:1-11; 2Kings 2:9), Luke continues his narration with two stories of healings: of a leper (5:12-16) and of a paralytic (5:7-26).

Unlike Elisha, Jesus touches the unnamed leper to heal him (also in Mark 1:40-45). Jesus commands him to present himself to the priests and to offer sacrifice following Moses’ instructions in the Book of Leviticus (Luke 13-14). The sick man then had to make a long trip to Jerusalem to perform this ritual. On his way, he is healed. Healing does not happen immediately but while fulfilling Jesus’ instruction.

As points for meditation, let us ask ourselves: What are the things in me that need healing? How can I follow Jesus’ instructions in my illness? How can I help others in their illness? (Fr. Randolf C. Flores, SVD Bible Diary 2009)

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Human immune-deficiency virus (HIV), the retrovirus that causes AIDS has already claimed the lives of 25 million people since it was known in late 1981. One of the recent missionary tasks of Divine Word Missionaries is helping persons with HIV/AIDS. We have, for example, the SVD brothers like Bro. Fabien, SVD who is based in Ngondi, Congo;  Bro. Damien Lunders, SVD, Bro. James Wilkins, SVD and Bro. Ronald Fratzke, SVD who work in Nong Bua Lamphu in Thailand. The missionary brothers help in the prevention of the virus; visit the sick in their homes; give moral support; facilitate education and awareness programs for the youth in the villages; establish a shelter for the homeless and an orphanage for children with HIV-AIDS; and pray with them.

An early counterpart of HIV/AIDS could possibly be ‘leprosy,’ the notorious illness in the ancient Near East. Although it is not exactly the same as the modern-day leprosy also called Hansen’s disease, leprosy was a serious threat to the lives of the Israelites (Lev. 13:14). Even the commander of the Syrian army, Naaman, was infected with this disease that he had to seek the help of Elisha (2 Kings 5). Even without the physical presence of Elisha, Naaman was healed by following the prophet’s instructions. He even brought with him a souvenir, a load of soil from Israel, so that he can worship the God of Israel in his own city in Damascus.

It is not common in the Bible that a prophet is at the same time a healer except Elisha and Elijah (1Kings 1 and 17-24). In the gospel reading today, Luke used this theme of prophet-healer. A chapter earlier, Jesus begins his public ministry as a prophet (Luke 4:16-30) and after choosing His disciples like the prophet Elijah (Luke 5:1-11; 2Kings 2:9), Luke continues his narration with two stories of healings: of a leper (5:12-16) and of a paralytic (5:7-26).

Unlike Elisha, Jesus touches the unnamed leper to heal him (also in Mark 1:40-45). Jesus commands him to present himself to the priests and to offer sacrifice following Moses’ instructions in the Book of Leviticus (Luke 13-14). The sick man then had to make a long trip to Jerusalem to perform this ritual. On his way, he is healed. Healing does not happen immediately but while fulfilling Jesus’ instruction.

As points for meditation, let us ask ourselves: What are the things in me that need healing? How can I follow Jesus’ instructions in my illness? How can I help others in their illness? (Fr. Randolf C. Flores, SVD Bible Diary 2009)

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In elementary school, I attended with friends Sunday Catechism in our barrio chapel until we realized that it was a “born again” group. The pastor was a leper so, in the end, everyone quit. The news spread quickly like wild re that the family of the pastor suddenly disappeared.

In today’s gospel, we are shown that leposy-in icted people were separated from the community. They were outcasts and the Jewish law forbade anyone from touching or approaching a leper. However, I admire the leper’s action and courage for coming out. This catchphrase “if others can, why can’t I?” may apply to his attitude in approaching Jesus begging to be cured: “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesus’ response was really awesome: “I will, be clean.”

Unsuspectingly, we too in our own bodies have leprosy. It is spreading but Jesus Christ the Savior was born to heal us. We just have to keep our faith in Him and believe in his mercy and love. Let us be humble and accept what we are so that His answer to the leper will also be his answer to us when we beg His compassion. He neither discriminates nor favors. He treats everyone, like the leper, with kind heart and generosity, welcoming anyone who wants to return into his fold. Through the example of the leper begging Jesus, we are invited to reach out to others with compassionate care and love, to the abandoned and mistreated. God’s love impels us to do as Jesus did; to love the unlovable, to touch the untouchable, and to forgive the unforgivable.

Let us always remember that we have leprosy in our own bodies. The more we are aware of it, the more we become humble and kind to open our arms to the needy. (Fr. Nelson Barbarona, SVD | Japan Bible Diary 2016)

Source: rveritas-asia.org/index.php/daily-reflection/398-january-8-2016-friday (2016.01.08)

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HOW TO LOVE. How is love shown? First, by intention. Second by verbal expression. Third is by action. In other words we can love people in our minds and nobody knows about that love except God and the one who loves. We can also show good deeds by our words. So from the mind, the expression goes to our lips. That is very encouraging, to hear somebody say to us that we are loved, that they are grateful, that we are appreciated. Such words bring consolation. But the third expression of loving is by action. The love comes from the mind, not always from the lips, but certainly, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

The leper wanted to receive healing from the Lord. But he would have been satisfied with the intention of Jesus because he said: “If you will it, I can be cured. You don’t even have to say it. You don’t even have to touch me. Just by willing it in your mind, I know I will be cured.”

Jesus would not be satisfied with simply willing the healing of the leper in His mind. He touched the leper and said: “I do will it be cured.” Saying it with His lips, saying it to this person what was in His mind and heart, Jesus healed the leper.

We have so many things in our minds. We have said so many things we don’t actually mean. Today, let us ask the Lord for the gift of consistency. May what we think, say and do always be consistent and in agreement in any of these. May there be contradiction in any leg. May what we think, may what we say and what we do, form a total unity without any contradiction. (Bp. Socrates Villegas, DD Love Like Jesus pp. 132)

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Friday after Epiphany (Year C): Lucas 5:12-16. Sa unsa mang paagiha ang tawo mamaayo sa iyang lawasnong sakit ug malimpyohan sa espirituhanong kahugaw? Diha sa pag-ayo ni Jesus sa usa ka sanglahon makita nato ang duha ka importanteng butang. Ang una mao ang pagduol ug pagpangaliyupo sa sanlahon. Ang tawo nga gustong mamaayo kinahanglang molihok ug magpakita’g dakong kagustohan. Ug ang ikaduha mao ang kabubut-on sa Ginoo. Ang tawo makadawat og kaayohan kon kini ihatag sa Ginoo nga maoy tuboran sa tanang kinabuhi, kahimsog ug kapasayloan. Usa ka masakiton ang nagpatawag og pari. Human siya makakumpisal, ang pari nag-ampo ug naghilog kaniya. Pagkahuman, ang masakiton miingon sa pari, “Padre, sa unang higayon nabati nako ang mainitong gakos sa Dios.” (Fr. Abet Uy)

(English) Luke 5: 12-16. How does the way the man was healed of his physical pain and cleansed of spiritual pollution? In Jesus healing a leper we see two important things. The first is to come and plead with him. The man who wants to be healed and to act never been a great pleasure. And the second is the will of the Lord. The person may profit when it is given to the Lord is the source of all life, health and forgiveness. A sick called a priest. After he could confess, the priest prayed and you anointed him. Afterwards, the sick, said the priest, “Father, the first time I felt the warm embrace of God.” (Fr. Abet Uy)

abetuy.blogspot.com/2013/01/friday-after-epiphany-year-c.html

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1 JUAN 5:5-13. Unsa may kalabotan sa tubig ug dugo sa atong kaluwasan? Kining duha ka elemento nahatagan og talagsaong kahulogan diha kang Kristo. Ang tubig magpahinumdum sa Iyang pagbunyag ug ang dugo sa Iyang pagkamatay. Ang tubig ug dugo, uban sa Espiritu, maoy nagpamatuod sa gugma sa Dios. Didto sa Kalbaryo, samtang gabitay si Kristo sa krus, usa ka sundalo ang niduslak sa Iyang kilid ginamit ang bangkaw. Ug sa dili matukib nga misteryo, nibuhagay gikan sa Iyang kilid ang dugo ug tubig, nga malagmit nagagikan sa Iyang malumong kasingkasing. Atong nasayran gikan sa mga mensahe sa Ginoo kang Sta. Faustina nga ang tubig ug dugo maoy timaan sa Iyang dakong kalooy ug pagbati sa katawhan. Kini ang gihulagway sa larawan sa Divine Mercy, nga may mga sidlak nga puti ug pula nga nagagikan sa kasingkasing sa Dios.

(English) 1 John 5: 5-13. What to do with water and blood for our salvation? These two elements are given special meaning in Christ. The water reminds us of His baptism and the blood of His death. The water and blood, with the Spirit, are proof of God’s love. At Calvary, while gabitay Christ on the cross, a soldier niduslak His side with a spear. And the ineffable mystery, nibuhagay from His side the blood and water, which may come in His tender heart. We know from the message of the Lord to Sta. Faustina the water and the blood is a sign of His great mercy and compassion to the people. The description of the image of the Divine Mercy, with radiant white and red from the heart of God.

abetuy.blogspot.com/2015/01/friday-after-epiphany-year-b.html

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A BIG WORD: Little EJ is big on – (ready for the big word?) DISCRIMINATION. It means, treating people unfairly. It’s like ignoring someone who isn’t like you. Is it clear yet?

Two more examples: 1) It’s making fun of a kid who has a strange name. 2) It’s ignoring those who are different from you – classmates who look or speak differently.

I think it is clearer if we look at Jesus. He hated discrimination! His love was for everyone – rich or poor, young or old, schooled or ignorant.

Why do I say little EJ is big on discrimination? Well, he doesn’t know the word, much less spell it. But he knows exactly what it means.

He wrote a story, “Purple Monkey.” All monkeys were black, but somehow. One monkey was born purple. Because he was different, all the black monkeys made fun of him. They never shared their bananas except the peels. They excluded him from all their games. They ignored him. In the end, however, they realized that the purple monkey was exactly like them.  His outward color had nothing to do with what he was inside.

Have you ever ignored anyone who is different from you? Next time, don’t discriminate. Jesus never did. (Grace D. Chong, Zoom 180 Devos for Kids, Makati: Church Strengthening Ministry, Inc., 2005: # 17)

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Reflection for January 9, Friday after Epiphany, Luke 5:12-16 Reflection: Why was the man with leprosy cured by Jesus? He was cured because he humbled himself before Jesus. The man sick with leprosy humbly pleaded to Jesus to heal him of his dreaded and contagious disease (Luke 5:12). What else did the sick man do? He was also crying while pleading Jesus to heal him.

In His humanity perhaps Jesus was also wary of the man’s contagious disease. But when He saw the humility of the sick man Jesus suddenly throw cautions to the wind. Jesus stretched His hand and touched the man and during that instance he was instantly healed by Jesus. His acts of humility opened the merciful heart of Jesus.

There shall be time that we will also get sick for this is the reality of life. As we grow old we become more vulnerable to sickness. Will we also humble ourselves before Jesus? Will we also cry while pleading Jesus to heal us?  Of course we will do these so that we would be healed by Jesus.

However it will not be all the time that we will receive healing from Jesus. Time will come that we will reach the end-point of our temporary journey in this world. We will cease breathing, what are we going to do by then? Should we stop praying? Of course not! For as long as we have consciousness we continue to plead Jesus.

Not anymore for healing but for mercy and for forgiveness of our many sins. Let us not wait for that time for it may be years from now. Let us do it right now while we are still healthy, let us beg Jesus for His mercy and forgiveness. This we could best do if we humbly submit ourselves to the healing Sacrament of Confession.

Will you submit yourself to the healing Sacrament of Confession? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2015/01/reflection-for-january-9-friday-after.html

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Friday, January 8, 2016

Reflection for January 8, Friday after Epiphany; Luke 5:12-16

Reflection: How do you ask Jesus when you want something from Him?

In today’s gospel we have a man sick with leprosy; he told the Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean (Luke 5:12).” Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do will it. Be made clean.” And the leprosy left him immediately (Luke 5:13).

The man sick with leprosy got what he wanted from Jesus for the reason that he humbled himself before Him. He did not only humble himself before Jesus, he also mustered enough courage to approach Jesus even if he was sick with a very contagious disease.

To have leprosy during that time was to have a dreaded disease, a sickness that isolate’s a person from the company of others. But it did not prevent the man sick with leprosy from going to Jesus, his sickness even fuelled him to go to Jesus. Where do you go when you are sick? Do you first go in prayer to Jesus and ask for His healing before going to somebody who could cure you?

Sickness is part and parcel of our life, for as long as we live we will also get sick. Therefore when we are sick let us not forget to first go in prayer to Jesus. Let us approach Jesus with humility and total surrender.

In sickness and in health in good times and in bad let us always humbly go to Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Source: mjdasma.blogspot.com/2016/01/reflection-for-january-8-friday-after.html

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Gospel: Lk 5:12-16  – One day, in another town, a man came to Jesus covered with leprosy. On seeing Jesus, the man bowed down to the ground, and said, “Lord, if you want to, you can make me clean.”
Stretching out his hand, Jesus touched the man and said, “Yes, I want to. Be clean.” In an instant, the leprosy left him. Then Jesus instructed him, “Tell this to no one. But go, and show yourself to the priest. Make an offering for your healing, as Moses prescribed; that will serve as evidence for them.”
But the news about Jesus spread all the more; and large crowds came to him, to listen and to be healed of their sickness. As for Jesus, he would often withdraw to solitary places and pray.

REFLECTION: There is something infinitely touching in today’s gospel scene. And it is the tone of the leper’s request for healing. “Lord, if you want to, you can make me clean.” We do not have here the usual shouts for attention, the frenzied requests accompanied with theatrical bowings and scrapings, the great shows of devotion (artificial or real). What we have is a surprisingly low-keyed request. In fact, it hardly sounds like a request at all. “If you want…” It is difficult to imagine a more restrained approach, a more low-pitched attitude.

One senses that the leper has reached, so to speak, a state of “indifference” in reference to his leprosy. It might be that he lived with it for so long that, eventually, he has learned to find God in it—so much so that, now, he is not sure if a cure would be so spiritually beneficial after all. So he lets Jesus decide the issue. “If you want…” Obviously he trusts Jesus’ decision unreservedly. And Jesus is obviously won over by this extra­ordinary trust.

Would we approach Jesus in like manner if we suffered, say, from cancer? Would we let him decide the outcome with a quiet heart?

CLARETIAN COMMUNICATIONS FOUNDATION, INC.

8 Mayumi Street, U.P. Village, Diliman, 1101 Quezon City, Philippines

Tel.: (02) 921-3984, 922-9806 • Fax: (02) 921-6205

Source: schoolofthewordonline.com/scriptural-library/daily-gospel/english/item/3406-january-08-2016

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IF THERE’S A WILL, THERE’S A WAY – “If you wish, you can make me clean.” – Luke 5:12

Meet Gioni (not his real name). He is an on-the-job trainee, about to graduate from college, easy-going, extrovert and young.

He seems to be able to get on his own terms. He reports to work at his own time, sometimes not following instructions.

I required all my staff to report at exactly 8 a.m. at the project site. But he reported almost 9 a.m. His excuse? He was not feeling well.

The next day, he came in at about 10 a.m. Again, more excuses. “Sir, there was heavy traffic. I live very far.” He livesonly 10 kilometers away.

I countered, “You live ‘very far,’ but one manager lives farther and another even farther. They arrive on time.”

We sometimes tend to go on the easy path, not knowing that it is a way to failure. The Bible says: “The gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many” (Matthew 7:13).

After confronting him, he began to come on time.

Yes, if you are willing, you can!Danny Tariman (dtariman.loj@gmail.com)

Pope Francis Says: “Love is expressed more clearly in actions than in words.”

Father, grant me the grace to accept my shortcomings and the strength to do Your will.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2016-01-08

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Friday, January 8

I Jn 5: 5-13; Lk 5: 12-16

Prayer with Faith and Submission

A traveller came to an old inn and knocked with the iron knocker on the door. No answer. He tried again; only a hollow echo. But he knew people were inside, he had seen them in the window. So with growing anger he grabbed the knocker and banged 20-30 times. Then he heard the footsteps approaching and saw a face out of the latch hole who timidly enquired whether the good gentleman wanted to come in.

“Did I want to come in?” he shouted. “Anyone who knocked as I did must have.”

“Well, you see, it’s like this,” said the elderly lady, “There are so many little children around here who bang the door and run off, so we have learned to pay no attention to them. But when I heard you knock, I really felt that you wanted to come in; that’s why I came to open the door.”

The man with leprosy bows down to the ground and asks Jesus, “Lord, if you want to, you can make me clean.”

If you want to- this is not a petition with indifference. We see a similar prayer towards the end of Jesus ‘life. In the garden he is praying to the Father, “Father, if it is your will, remove this cup from me.”

It is a prayer with full submission to the will of God. Jesus answers to the man covered with leprosy, “Yes, I want it. Be clean.” Any prayer with faith and full submission to the will of God will be heard. Dr. James M L CMI

Source: navchetana.com/web/homilies.php?date=2016-01-8

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Friday after Epiphany

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