Do we know what we are doing wrong, and what we ned to do to correct what is wrong?

Tuesday of the 33rd Week

Revelation 3:1-6, 14-22

Luke 19:1-10

I bought a new television for my home in GH two weeks ago. I came home excited to plug it in and watch some television. But, quickly, I discovered that gone are the days of plugging in television and watching it.

I texted customer service since, in bold letters, the manual read, “We do not take phone calls!” I prayed, I would get an answer that would help. After not hooking up the television, I left it for this past weekend. In trying again yesterday, my troubles with hooking up the television only worsened. I did not know what I was doing wrong, and I did not know what to do to correct the problem.

Finally, at the end of the day, I called my son-in-law, who, after 45 minutes, got the television to work. Praise be Jesus! Do we know what we are doing wrong and what to do to correct the problem?

In our first reading, the Lord tells two groups of people, “Do you know what we are doing wrong, and what to do to correct the problem? The Lord God says, “You have a reputation for being alive, but you are dead. I have not found your works complete in my sight.” Then, to another church, the Lord says, “You are neither cold nor hot but lukewarm, so I spit you out of my mouth.” These words are what we do not want to hear.

In our Gospel story about Zacchaeus, I believe that Zacchaeus has some idea of what he is doing wrong and what he must do to correct the problem. So, as Zacchaeus climbs a tree and sees Jesus, it is a moment of clarity and adoration as he realizes what he has been doing wrong and what he must do to correct the problem.

In the closing two weeks of our Church year, “Do we know what we are doing wrong, and what to do to correct the problem?” As we come to the Eucharist today, may it be a moment of adoration to enlighten us to change to Christ and away from our sinful behavior?

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Can we believe in who God says he is?

Thirty Third Sunday

Malachi 3:19-20

 II Thessalonians 3:7 – 12

 Luke 21: 5-19

I wonder if you felt like I did on Wednesday. As I awoke, I went to my phone to see the election results, and when I read that Proposal 3 had passed, I was saddened, and I felt like I was punched in the gut.

I am very grateful and proud of you and how we did our best to get the information to friends and relatives about our Catholic faith and how we stand for life! Thank you for all you did. But I wonder, did people who voted “yes” know what they were voting for?

On Wednesday afternoon, as I began to prepare for the weekend of what I wanted to share with you, I thought, “These readings are perfect, for there really is a God!”

Our readings, especially the Gospel, are about the world’s destruction, the decay of moral values, and the undermining of the family. This should not come as a surprise to us because Jesus predicted this would happen 2000 years ago! (Reread some of the Gospel.)

Do we treat our faith as the ambulance that shows up at the crash scene to care for the wounded? Is our Catholic faith, just a silent partner in our lives?

But with all this sadness, the unrighteous will not win! There is still Good News for us because God has consecrated us to know, live, and share the Good News with all we meet. For every Good Friday, there is Easter. We, the faithful, are the ones who are called to believe that God is in control. Therefore, we must realize this crisis not as a time of despair but as a time of opportunity.

Can we believe in God and what he says and does? We are all under divine watch, so what are we to do?

  • Do you have a crucifix in your home? Get one!
  • Do you have a rosary? Pray it!
  • Do you have personal time for prayer? Make one!
  • Do you attend Mass every week?
  • Do you work hard to stay in a state of grace?

The only way out of this is spiritual. So please pray for me as I pray for you!

How is this day special?

Friday of the 32nd Week

2 John 4-9

Luke 17:26-37

Celebration of Veterans Day

All School Mass

St. Martin of Tours

What makes any day special? – What makes a day special is when the sun is out all day!  

What makes it special today? Today we honor our veterans. Is anyone having a birthday today?

In our Gospel, Jesus tells us that a special day is coming when he comes again to take all those who have lived lives of faith back with him to heaven.

Jesus tells us that the day will begin like any other day, we will be eating, playing, going to school or work, and then the big surprise will come.

The day of Christ’s return is certainly a day to look forward to because it will be a very special day!

We prepare for this special day by being at our wonderful Catholic School that teaches us how to pray and do works of charity.

We come to the Eucharist now to get a foretaste of what that special day will look like as we celebrate Jesus Christ.

I spy the Kingdom of God!

Thursday Thirty – Second Week Ordinary Time

Philemon 7-20

Luke 17: 20-25

St. Leo The Great

Proper of the Saints pg.850

Preface of Holy Pastors pg.458

White

If I say, “I spy, something brown?” What would your answer be? I spy something brown and tall. What is your answer? The answer is the cross behind me. This childhood game is what is going on in our Gospel today.

In our Gospel, Jesus says, “I spy the Kingdom of God!” The Pharisees respond, “We do not see the Kingdom of God. Where is it?” By asking the question, the Pharisees have failed at the simple game of “I spy!” Jesus is telling the Pharisees, “Hear is the Kingdom of God! I am it!”

We know that the Kingdom of God comes in two ways. First, the Kingdom of God will come when Jesus comes again at the end of time. When Jesus will call all the righteous to heaven with him, and will condemn all the unjust to eternal damnation.

The other way to see the Kingdom of God, which Jesus was saying to the Pharisees, is to see the Kingdom in our midst. This gets a bit harder as we look around our world. We wonder what is happening and why the prince of darkness is winning.

How do we see the Kingdom of God in our midst? First, we must look for him in all we do. We need to ask God to reveal his Kingdom to us, and we need to act in faith when we acknowledge the Kingdom working in our midst.

Jesus will see to each of us today, “I spy the Kingdom of God?” What will our response be this day?

How are you doing?

The Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome

Ezekiel 47:1-2, 8-9, 12

I Cor. 3:9-11, 16-17

John 2:13-22

How are you doing? No matter how the election or the Proposals went, our need to be united as a Catholic Church and to be a people who will never stop praying for the sanctity of life will never change.

So, maybe it is appropriate that we celebrate a Church that calls to that unity under God.

St. Paul says, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in us.” The Church is more than a building. It is us united in faith that makes the Church. By baptism, the Spirit is given to us, and God dwells in us. As glorious as St. John Lateran Basilica is, our souls are forever more glorious.

Building on this theme that we are a Temple to God, we are challenged by the prophet Ezekiel to bring living water to all that we meet and do. The water from the Temple begins as a trickle and becomes a life-giving river.

In our Gospel, Jesus declares that the Temple is meant to be a place of prayer as he drives out the money changers with a wipe. We must be constantly aware of the presence of evil in our lives. We must keep the Temple of Jesus Christ holy and sacred by being people of prayer and redemptive suffering!  

As e gather this day, may we be living Temples before God, never giving up but only being inspired to live for God and not ourselves.  

How hard will work for the Lord, today!

Tuesday Thirty – Second Week Ordinary Time

Titus 2:1-8, 11-14

Luke 17: 7-10

My daughter went on a girl’s weekend, leaving my son-in-law to care for the three kids. I texted or called him every day to see how he was doing. Each time he would say, “I am doing fine. I am doing what a father is supposed to do. One picture he sent me is of the kids playing on an outdoor Jump, Jump in the living room! With the cation, “Desperate times call for desperate measures.” When my daughter returned Sunday early afternoon, my son-in-law said, “I have to give her a raise, she has not been getting what she is worth, and I know I cannot pay her what she is worth.” How do we view ourselves in what we have to do today?

In our first reading, St. Paul is writing to his young protégé, Titus, the church leader in Crete. Paul gives him a code of conduct to provide all age groups with how to live. In summarizing his message, Paul tells Titus always to remember that Jesus Christ has died for each of us, purifying us from sinfulness. Christ does all of this, so we will be eager to work hard in spreading the Good News.

In our Gospel, we hear the story of a farmer who has a servant. When that servant is done working in the fields, he is expected to come in and cook for the master. He should expect nothing more than what he has been given. Jesus says we are to say, “We are just unprofitable servants; we have done what we are only obliged to do.” Are we humble servants for God today?

Do we serve others only to be thanked? Or do we serve others because it is the right thing to do? May we be grateful to God and others for helping us along our faith journey?

We have a lot to do today, to work hard and to uphold the sanctity of life from conception to natural death.

Death is hard, so we have faith!

Thirty–Second Sunday Ordinary Time  

II Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14

II Thessalonians 2: 16-3:5

Luke 20: 27-38

Death is never easy, and it is never convenient. Death can leave us feeling unprepared.

Recently, I was called to the bedside of someone actively dying. When I celebrate the prayers for the dying. I like to give time for those present to say whatever is in their hearts to their loved ones. I do this because we know that our sense of hearing is the last to go.

The spouse began sharing and what she said humbled me almost to my knees. She said, “I will see you in heaven. I will wait for that day with great faith. Thank you for your love and for sharing your faith. It will carry me until we can be together again.” (Put on screens) In her sharing, she had hope, courage, and endurance.

Death is never easy, and it is never convenient, but when we meet death with hope, courage, and endurance, we can see that ‘life is changed, not ended.’

In our first reading, we hear of a mother and her seven sons tortured and killed. But, before they are killed, each one of them makes a profession of faith in the resurrection. They all have hope and courage in the resurrection.

In our Gospel, we hear the Sadducees asking a question of Jesus about the resurrection. The Sadducees were a group of religious priests who were wealthy, and they took care of the Temple. They did not believe in the resurrection because they only had the first five books of the Old Testament, known as the Torah, and the Torah does not teach anything about the resurrection. It is easy to remember the Sadducees because they are sad-u-see because they do not believe in the resurrection. Jesus answers their question by saying that God is a God of the living, and everything God has created will die and have eternal life.

(Put on screens) No matter how dark life is, we need to be willing, prepared, and able to live our faith daily. We are given the strength to do this by our sacraments which are all about new life.

May we this week be willing, prepared, and able to carry the fire of faith with hope in new life both now and in the life to come.

The sweetness of God!

Thursday of the 31st Week

Philippians 3: 3-8

Luke 15: 1-10

I was basking in the glow of All Souls Day Mass last night. But, I could not focus on a homily for this morning. I read some things, but nothing tugged at my heart, so I went to bed, hoping something would come to me in the morning. I got up this morning, ate breakfast, and listened to three podcasts, but nothing came to me. Now for whatever reason, I thought I needed something sweet! I do not usually reward myself for failure, but I looked in the freezer, and there were two beautiful sweet rolls I had been saving for a special occasion. After eating the first one, I decided I needed the second one. As I savored every bite, I wondered, “Is this how it is to eat with Jesus?”

Jesus had two kinds of people who ate and sought to eat with him and there wear the self-righteous and sinners. The sinners were the ones who dined with Jesus, savoring every bite of dinner and having their lives changed.

In our Gospel, we hear Jesus dining with tax collectors and sinners, and the Pharisees are unhappy. Jesus tells a parable of lost sheep and coin. The sheep may know it has wandered away or may not realize it has walked away. The coin neither knows it is lost nor knows its value. In either case, the sheep and the coin have so much value that they are sought after until found.

Who are we going to have dinner with tonight? Are we the self-righteous or the sinner? What would we need to bring to the dinner to have Jesus heal us?

May we know in this Eucharist meal the sweetness of being with Jesus? 

What is our desire to serve Christ today?

Thirty – First Sunday

Wisdom 11:22-12

II Thessalonians 1:11-2:2

Luke 19:1-10

Last weekend, when I was on vacation, I went to church with a six, four, and two-year-old. It gave me sense of what some of you go through to go to Church if you have children. I appreciate your desire to coming to Church.  

Begin my homily walking to the back of Church.

But I am curious today as we have come, who has the most desire to be here, those in the back or those in the front? On a scale of one to ten, what is your desire to be here today? Have you come because you wanted to attend or because someone is making you attend? Are we here to fit into the crowd and then slip out early into another crowd?

Our readings today are about our desire to be here, but not only be here, how might we be changed to give glory to God in all we do?

Our Gospel is my favorite story in all of sacred scripture. As I was preparing to share with you today, the question that came to me was, “Why did Zacchaeus have the desire to see Jesus?” Zacchaeus was a tax collector. He would be a traitor to his Jewish friends because he worked for the Roman Government collecting taxes against the Jewish people. Zacchaeus would be wealthy, having plenty of food, fine clothes, and a nice home. In other words, Zacchaeus would have everything he ever wanted in life. So why would a man who has wealth and power embarrass himself by acting like a child and climbing a tree?

Here is my take on why Zacchaeus did what he did. I think Zacchaeus was miserable, lonely, and broken. Perhaps he realized that all he possessed meant nothing to him. Maybe he felt guilty and could not forgive himself for his actions. We are told that Zacchaeus was small in stature, but perhaps he was also small in self-confidence and faith. So Zacchaeus has a great desire to see Jesus, even if it meant stepping out from the crowd and climbing a tree.

As much as this story is about Zacchaeus’ desire to see Jesus. The story is also about the desire that Jesus has to be with Zacchaeus. Jesus calls Zacchaeus by name, tells him to come down, and he invites himself into the home of Zacchaeus.

My friends in Christ, what is our desire to be here today, and what is our desire to change to give glory to God? We need to come to know whatever desire we bring, and God is right there, ready to meet us!

Homework: How do we need to have the desire to climb out on a limb to see Jesus, hear him call our name, and tell us to come to him, so he can make a home in our hearts?

Do you know my name?

Friday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

Feast of St. Simon & St. Jude

Ephesians 2:19-22

Luke 6:12-16

Who is this person? Do you know their name? Repeat twice!

To know someone’s name is of utmost importance to me. So I try and learn one person’s name each day.

I appreciate that you are wearing your name tags. It helps when I want to call on you, as I then can call you by your name.

There will come a day when you will be asked to wear a name tag like this one. Put on the screens a name tag that reads, “Hello, my name is….” You will spend the rest of your time going around to people saying, “Hello, my name is….”

Today we celebrate a God who already knows our name and always calls us by our name. He knows our name because, at the time of our baptism, our parents were asked, “What name do you give this child?” Our parents responded by saying our names. Our parents were then asked, “What do you ask of God’s Church?” And your parents replied, “To have our child baptized.”

In the waters of baptism, we were claimed by God to be his adopted children, and our lives were forever changed. We will never have to say to God, “Hello, God! My name is….”

In our Gospel, Jesus gathers a large crowd around him, and from all these people standing in front of him, he calls twelve by name to be his apostles.

As we celebrate the feast day of St. Simon and St. Jude, may we hear God call our names to be his disciples?