Crossing Over!

Tuesday Twenty-Fourth Week Ordinary Time

I Timothy 3:1-13

Luke 7:11-17

 

Think about someone who was there for you at a critical moment in your life, one of those times when you didn’t know how or if you would get through it? What was happening in your life at that time? What was that critical moment? What were you feeling? What did you need or want at that moment? What did that person do for or say to you? In what ways was he or she there for you? Whatever the critical moment was for you, you lived today’s gospel story.

 

In our Gospel, Jesus was there at a critical moment for a woman who was in a funeral procession for her son. In this funeral procession, there are two deaths that have happened. There is the death of the son, and there is the death of the woman because now she has no one to look after her. She will no longer have a home, none to care for her, and she will have to beg for money and food.  

 

The woman says nothing, but when Jesus places his hand on the dead boy, and tells him ‘to rise’, it was a moment of crossing over for everyone present, the boy, who came back to life, the woman who was given new life, and the crowd who respond, “God has surely visited his people.”

 

The moments of crossing over are always before us. Sometimes they are so ordinary and mundane we miss them. As soon as we walked through those doors, we crossed over to a place of peace and strength. When you leave here today you will again cross over into a world where someone may need us at a critical moment. Do not be afraid of what will come our way today.

Advertisements

When we are lost!

Twenty Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Exodus 32:7-11, 13-14

I Timothy 1:12-17

Luke 15: 1-10

 

Our readings have to do with being lost, but I am not so much talking about being lost when we are driving somewhere. Our readings speak to us about being lost spiritually. We get lost spiritually in our fears and grief, our worries and anxieties, in our anger and or prejudice. We get lost in all kinds of circumstances, and it can be overwhelming. To be lost is to live without a sense of being grounded. The time I felt most lost was when my marriage of 18 years ended. I was completely lost because I had committed myself to the marriage, and when it fell apart I was truly lost. Our readings are about being lost and what God does to find us.

 

In our Gospel, we hear about a sheep who wanders off from the rest of the sheep. The sheep will eventually realize it is lost, but because it does not have other sheep around it the sheep will not find its way home on it is own. A good shepherd knowing the value of the sheep goes to great lengths to find the sheep. The thing to know about this story is there is no blame, no finding fault why the sheep went astray. In Jesus Christ, his first concern is about finding what is lost and returning it to him.

 

The second parable is about a woman who loses a coin in her home. The coin has no idea that it is lost, and it has no idea of its value to the woman. The woman knows the coin is lost, and she knows its value, so she begins to sweep and clean the entire house until she finds the valuable coin that is missing. There are times when we do not even know we are lost, and Christ searchers for us until we are found.

 

The parable we hear today is not about those not here, and it is about us!  “Do we know when we are lost?” Are their parts of our lives that are lost to sin and evil that need to change? Do we know the great value that God has for us? Do we believe with our whole hearts that right now God is searching for us to be found?

  

We gather today because God is always looking for us and the Eucharist, we celebrate is God telling us I am right here looking for you. You have great value to me. May, we say in return, “Here, I am Lord, take me home, because I was once lost, and now I am found.”

We need to remember!

 

Wednesday of the 23rd Week

Colossians 3:1-11

Luke 6:20-26

A Day of Mourning and Remembrance

 

I would bet most of us know where we were 8:46, on Tuesday, September 11, 2001? We need never to forget this day as it changed the world. On the fifth anniversary of 9/11, I was in seminary and the priest celebrating morning Mass that day was not one of the finest. He was not a good preacher, and he was very low key. The readings were today’s readings, and when he got down preaching we were amazed at what he said and how he spoke so beautifully to the anniversary. Our readings today are very prophetic as they lay out for us what we are to do to change our lives this day.

 

In our first reading, Paul is urging the Christians to put away all that leads to death and evil. Paul is urging the people to put away racism, elitism, bigotry, and embrace the truth of Jesus Christ, no matter what the person’s status, nationality, or religion.

 

 In our Gospel, we get Luke’s version of the Sermon on the Plain. The Gospel of Matthew has the same sermon, but it speaks more about deciding to act in such a way, Luke’s version is harder to live and speaks more from the present tense. Jesus says, “Blessed are those who are now poor, hungry, weeping, and who are being persecuted.”  Jesus continues, “But woe to you who are rich, those who have had their fill of food, those who laugh, and when people speak well of us.”

 

How are you feeling blessed today?

 

 

 

 

We are blessed!

Tuesday of the 23rd Week

Colossians 2:6-15

Luke 6: 12- 19

 

My Chiropractor asks me, “What would you change in your life?” Without hesitating, I responded, “Nothing! I needed all the pain and the suffering to get me where I am and to know the joy of Christ.” I know that sounds pretty saintly, but I have come to know the truth of not changing a thing in my life.  Well, I may have changed not stabbing the neighbor’s pet turtle when I was about four years old.

 

In our Gospel, Jesus spends the whole night in prayer. Any time we hear of Jesus going to prayer, this is a sign to us that something significant is about to happen. Usually he goes away for a short time, but this time it is for all night long, so we know that something spectacular is going to happen. Accompanying him up the mountain is all of his disciples, and in the morning he chooses from them twelve who would become the inner circle whom he would call apostles. Clearly who has chosen it is not of human success. There is Peter who is boastful and unreliable, there is James and John who are ambitious hotheads, Nathaniel who has little confidence in anything coming out of Galilee, Matthew is a former Roman tax collector, Thomas has his doubts, Simon is a zealot, and Judas Iscariot will betray him. Jesus could have changed his mind, but he did not because he wants to demonstrate that in our fallen human state God is still there bringing us to blessings.

 

St. Paul is telling us don’t change a thing, dig deep roots so when those troubling times come, your roots will be deep and you will not topple over.

 

What might you want to change that may be a blessing!

 

 

 

We need to reorder our lives to Christ!

 

Twenty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Wisdom 9:13-18

Philemon 1:9-10, 12-17

Luke 14: 25-33

 

I was at my last assignment for nine years, and I loved the people and the parish. When I was in my 6th, 7th, & 8th years each spring I was told that there was a chance I could be moved. Hearing this news was very devastating because I did not want to move, but each time I was never called back to say I was moving. In my 9th year I was not called in the usual time frame, so I thought I had made it to another year. One morning after morning Mass the secretary said, “The Bishop called, he wants to see you tomorrow.” My heart sunk, and as I returned the call and he confirmed that he wanted to see me, and I was shaking. Now I had always imagined this happening terrible, something like I go into his office sit down, the Bishop tells me I am moving, and I fall to the ground in tears, and I begin to beg him to stay. As I drove downtown the next day, I prayed rosaries all the way there as I prayed, “Lord, reorder my heart!” When I did get into the Bishops office, and we sat down, and he told me I was leaving, and that I would be reassigned to Holy Spirit Parish. What happened next was not how I imagined it at all. What happened was a huge peace came over me, and I said, “Bishop Walkowiak, thank you!” Now the next thing that happened is very funny. He sat back in his chair, and he said, “Fr. Mark Peacock, most priests, cry, fall to the ground and beg to stay, they do not thank me for being reassigned.” You see when I did not want to leave my last assignment I was making it all about me and not about what Christ. I needed to reorder my life back to Christ. Our readings are about reordering our lives and our relationships back to Christ.  

 

In our second reading, we get a very good example of someone who hopefully will see how they need to reorder their lives back to Christ as St. Paul writes to his good friend Philemon, who was a prominent leader in the Church. Philemon was a wealthy landowner who owned slaves. What has happened is one of his slaves by the name of Onesimus has run away and is staying with Paul, and while he was with Paul has given his life over to Christ. Paul is writing Philemon to let him know that he is sending his slave back to him, and what he wants is for him to welcome Onesimus back, not as his slave, but as a brother in Christ. Paul is asking Philemon to reorder his life in Christ and welcome Onesimus home as a brother not a slave.

 

We are the Philemon’s of the world as God is asking us to reorder our lives back to him. We make our lives about us, our struggles and pain, and we should be making it about what Christ is doing in our lives. We need to reorder our lives knowing that each time we gather in this holy place this is the best thing that will ever happen to us. In this Eucharist may we reorder our lives to Christ and may we make our lives more about the joy of knowing Jesus Christ than about us.

We are being made new!

Friday Twenty-Second Week of Ordinary Time

Colossians 1:15-20

Luke 5:33-39

All School Mass

 

Q.) Since the beginnings of school tell me something, you got that is new? A.) Let’s begin with Jaxon Radlinski, what did you get that is new? What else did we get that is new? Clothes, bike, car, video game.

 

Q.) Now tell me something that you would not like that is new that you would not look forward to receiving?

A.) Maybe some of you would not want a new brother! What about moving away to a new school? Moving away would be hard! What if they took out the creamy filling of Oreo’s and replaced it with a pickle? Yuck!  What if McDonald’s changed their secret recipe for their hamburgers?

 

In our Gospel, Jesus says, “No one pours new wine into old wineskins.” What Jesus is telling us is we must allow Him to transform our old selves into new creations and embrace the new law of grace. Becoming a new creation in Christ means that we live on a whole new level and no longer cling to our former ways.  It means that God does powerful things in our lives far beyond anything we could ever do by ourselves.  It means we the Holy Spirit to take hold of our lives. It means that we are ready right now to give God glory and praise. It means we live intentionally for God! We go about our day looking to do good and not evil!

 

In this Eucharist may we know and live in such a way as to proclaim how God is renewing us in him?

 

 

 

See God in the small things of our day!

Thursday Twenty-Second Week of Ordinary Time

 Colossians 1: 9-14

Luke 5:1-11

 

How do we see God today? In the Old Testament God reveals himself in big and magnificent ways. In the New Testament, Jesus changes all of that by being present to the people all of the time. The reality is if we wait for God to reveal himself to us in big and magnificent ways, we will miss the hundred ways that God revealed himself to us in the small little ways. Our readings encourage us to pay attention to the small little ways that God is working in us.

 

In our Gospel, it is all about the small stuff as we hear about the conversion of Peter, James, and John. The first small thing is to know that God chooses to reveal himself to common fishermen. At the time of Jesus, fishermen were very common people and fishermen were known to be hard-working people who provided for their families. We are the common people of our time, and we need to look for God in small things. The second small thing to know is that the conversion of Peter, James, and John was a conversion of the heart. Jesus spoke to them in such a way that their hearts were touched in such a way as to leave behind their livelihood and follow Jesus. We to this day need to listen to our hearts and how God is revealing himself to us. The final small thing is Jesus gave the disciples a task, and it is the same task we have, which is to go fishing! Jesus takes them from their boats to continue fishing for souls, not fish. We are called to go fishing by spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ.

 

When we get up in the morning we need to ask God to reveal himself to us. We then need to look for God in all the small things of the day, and when we go to bed tonight we give thanks for how God revealed himself to us in all the small things of our day. May we see God is all we do!