Hold on I will be right there

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

Deuteronomy 4: 32-34, 39-40

Romans 8:14-17

Matthew 28:16-20

The date of May 31, will always be a day I remember because back in 2001, it was a day that a good friend of mine, and I needed to stop the madness of anger that was going on between us. As we said, “I am sorry, please forgive me!” we felt the world stopped spinning just for a moment. It was one month earlier, that I had said to him with a precise aim, “I wish you were dead!” I watched those words leave my lips and hit the target with great destructive force. On May 31, 2001, it was do or die for us, for my friend was leaving the next day to go back to school out east, and he would be gone for the whole year, and I would not see him at all. With the prompting of the Holy Trinity, our relationship needed to be mended, and it was, not by our doing but by Gods doing.  

Today we celebrate the Most Holy Trinity. We celebrate three persons in one God; God the Father, the creator, God the Son the redeemer, and God the Holy Spirit the sanctifier. That is all I got, to explain the Holy Trinity because it is a mystery. That is ok, with me, because I want a God who is bigger and more than me! What I do know is the effects of the Holy Trinity in my life. The Holy Trinity lives in perfect harmony with each other and we are to strive to live in perfect harmony with one another. I need that help of the Holy Trinity because my life at times is a mystery, and I am not able to figure it out. What I have come to discover is each time the Holy Trinity says, “Hold on, we will be right there to create something new, to pull you through and to fill you with grace.” Our readings bring this relationship out very well and its effects on us.  

In our first reading from Deuteronomy, the people are about to enter the Promised Land. They have been wandering for 40 years, and none of the people that Moses is speaking to are the ones that left Egypt. These people are one generation past. This reading is not about the Trinity but about the effects of the Trinity on their lives. Moses says with great excitement, “Never forget, the awesome things that God has done for you and your ancestors. As God now leads you into the Promised Land.” 

You can almost imagine St. Paul in his letter to the Romans walking back forth in his room saying, “I know there is a special relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I just cannot explain, but I know its effects for each time I was in fear of destruction or death the Spirit came and led me to new life.” Paul comes to know himself better in union with the Holy Trinity.  

In our Gospel, Matthew, gives us the Great Commissioning, “To go out to all nations and to make disciples of the people. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Did you notice the beginning of prayer? Everything we do is to begin with the help and direction of the Holy Trinity. 

My friends in Christ, we gather in our beautiful church, to come from one world into another as we passed through those doors. Everything about our beautiful church speaks of the Holy Trinity. I can only make sense of the Holy Trinity by the relationship they have and challenge us to live. What relationships do we give thanks for and want to strengthen? What are the relationships that need to be healed? May we hear the Holy Trinity say to us, “Hold on, we will right there to create something new, to pull you through and to fill you with grace.” 

 

Are we being all who we should be?

Friday Eighth Week of Ordinary Time

Sirach 44:1, 9-13

Mark 11:11-26

All School Mass

 When you think of the people that we look up to that have influenced us the most in our faith, who did you think of?

 Answer: Parents, grandparents, teachers, priests, seminarians.

 Those people have shared their faith with us, so we may be what we should be, in the eyes of God. Our readings challenge us to ask, “Are we being all who we should be?  

In our first reading from the book of Sirach, the writer praises men of great prayer and faith, who have kept the covenants and who passed these on to their children. They are being praised for being all that they should be. 

In our Gospel, Jesus sees a fig tree, that is not producing any fruit. He condemns the tree and upon their return, the tree has withered and died. The tree was not being all that it should be.

When Jesus arrives in Jerusalem and goes to the temple and there is buying and selling of things, and not prayer and worship. The people are not being all that should be he condemns them and throws them out of the temple.  

Faith is about putting all of our trust in God, to surrender to his will, to live in hope, and to do all we can to do our part. Today we gather in this Holy Eucharist to be all that we should be in the eyes of God.  

 

Surrender to God

I love our readings today, because they have drawn me to contemplate, “How have I totally surrendered to the will of God? Am I doing all I can to live in the promises of God? And am I living a life in full gratitude to God?” What a wonderful set of readings to challenge us to know that God has so much more in store for us this day. 

The writer from the book of Sirach gives us something to contemplate. Do we see that there is an order to all of creation and that God is not limited to God’s mighty acts in his prophetic word, but that God does act in and through all of creation as the writer says, “Let me describe how I see God acting in the rising sun, the depths of the sea, and the fleeting spark of a fire?” The last line is very powerful, which says, “Can one ever see all the splendor of God.”  

In our Gospel, we hear the story of Bartimaeus a blind man and Jesus restoring his sight. However, the story is so much more than just a physical healing. Notice there is no touching Bartimaeus, there is not words of healing. Jesus simple says, “Go your way; your faith has healed you.” But Bartimaeus does not go on his way, but goes “on Christ’s way” as he now joins Christ and becomes one of his followers. 

Can we totally surrender to the will of God and live in hope and gratitude doing all we can to believe in Jesus Christ? These readings have helped me go from feeling that I am pushing this big heavy stone up a mountain, to get out of the way and letting much stronger and wiser push the stone.  

 

 

Do not be ordinary

Wednesday Eight Week of Ordinary Time

Sirach 36:1, 4-5, 101-7

Mark 10:32-45

It is “Ordinary Time” in the Church year and I can now wear my favorite dark green chasuble. It brings out the Irish in me! No more, white for a while, no more pink or purple for a while. However, Ordinary Time is anything but ordinary, as now we celebrate and are challenged by the paschal mystery of Christ. Our readings today present to us anything about being ordinary, but challenges us to be extra-ordinary.  

In our first reading from Sirach, we hear the wonderful lines, “Lord, come to our aid, look upon us, and let all the nations around us know what we know. That there is no God but you. Give new signs and work new wonders.”  Sirach cries out for God to be extra-ordinary. 

The first line of the Gospel says, “The disciples were on the way, going to Jerusalem, and Jesus went ahead of them. Those who were in the front were amazed and those who were following behind were afraid.” In Jerusalem is where Jesus will be going to his passion and death. The disciples will all be brought to a new understanding. However, James and John have their understanding, and that is when they arrive in Jerusalem all the angels from heaven will come down and fight for Jesus and defeat the Romans. James and John want to make sure when this happens, they want the seats of power one on his left and one on his right.  

Jesus has a new understanding to share with them as he responds, “This shall not be so among you. Whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.”  

As we gather today, how many of us knelt down and prayed and then told God how we wanted Him to answer our prayers? What would be new and different, not ordinary, if we prayed, here are my prayers, please answer them as your will is to be done. Now that would take extra-ordinary faith. Our Eucharist is given to us to be able to say in faith, “In all the things, we hope and pray for today, may it all happen Lord, as you wish!”  

 

Dependent upon God

Tuesday Eighth Week of Ordinary Time

Sirach 35:1-12

Mark 10:28-31

Saint Philip Neri

Is Christ’s presences dependent upon this homily? Well, I hope not, but I do try my hardest to give words of encouragement from my heart each time I celebrate mass. Is Christ presences dependent upon the prayers we have said already at this mass? Well, prayer is a good thing, but it is not dependent upon Christ’s presences. What is dependent, is us, that we have our hearts in tune with the Spirit of God that that is already present to us. As, you came through those doors this morning, you left behind one world and entered into another world, a world that has eternal life implications. Everything about our beautiful church is to help come in contact with the presences of Christ. Our readings challenge us to this dependence. 

In our first reading, Sirach tells us that it is good to keep God’s commandments and to give Him glory and praise. However, if we are really dependent upon his presences in our lives, we will live lives of great gratitude for all he has done and all that he will do in our lives. We are challenged to give, in the proportion to what God has given to us! 

If we are truly dependent upon God’s presences in our life then we will want to say what Peter has said in our gospel, “Lord, we have given up everything and followed you.” We will be rewarded as Jesus gives Peter a great responds “Whoever has given up all these things for me, for the sake of the Gospel will receive a hundred more times now in the present age.” 

Today we celebrate the feast day of St. Philip of Neri, he chose to live God’s love in the world by being the saint of joy. He is quoted as saying “A joyful heart is more easily made perfect than a downcast one.” Once he knew he was dependent upon God for everything his life become complete joy. 

May the Eucharist we share bring us joy and may we become more dependent upon God for all we do.

The Spirit brings truth and understanding

Pentecost Sunday

Acts 2:1-11

I Corinthians 12: 3-7, 12-13

John 15: 26-27; 16:4-15

Have you ever searched for meaning in your life? Ever wondered what you should do, or what you should say, or where you should go? The Spirit always knows what needs to be done in our life before our conscience knows. The Spirit will poke us and prod us in the most unlikely times to get our attention. Our role is to be mindful of these times, if they be someone says something to us and we might ask, “Why did you say that?” Or something happens in creation and the glory of God speaks to us. All these things are the Spirit leading us to truth and understanding. The Solemnity of Pentecost is about the Spirit bringing us to meaning in our lives. 

In our first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, the apostles are given the Holy Spirit. They begin to preach to people of every nation, the people are at first confused because they can understand the apostles in their own native tongue, but then they are amazed and astounded. When we are discerning a spiritual decision there will be many voices from the outside and the inside. The Spirit will help us discern those voices and which will lead us to truth. 

In our second reading from I Corinthians, we hear that the Spirit always works within a community where Christ is the head and the members are its body. When making a spiritual decision we should seek always the counsel and wisdom of those in the body of Christ. 

Then our Gospel acts like a gift, with lovely wrappings and a beautiful bow when Jesus says, “I have so much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you to truth.” Wow! Jesus realizes the role of the Sprit in his disciple’s lives and in our lives. The Spirit is always about bringing us to truth and understanding in all parts of our lives. 

In the feast day of the celebration of Pentecost, we celebrate the birthday of the Church. We do not gather to blow out candles on a cake but to take in the very breadth of God into our lives. As we discern the movement of the Holy Spirit, the way we know we are following the Spirit is it will always bring us peace. If it brings confusion or stress then it is not of God. We should live with great gratitude, for all that God is doing in our life. The Eucharist is given to us to make us one in Him and to know and trust that the Spirit is pushing us to truth and understanding.

But do you love me?

Seventh Week of Easter Friday

Acts 25: 13; 13 -21

John 21: 15- 19

In the movie The Fiddler on the Roof, Tevye, sings to his wife of twenty-five years a song asking her a question that he desperately wants to know the answer to. Tevye sings, “Do you love me?” and Golde answers by what she does for him, finally admits, “I suppose I do.”  The answer to the question, “Do you love me?” is a question each and every one of us must answer to God for today.   

In our gospel today, Jesus is resurrected from the dead and is at the seashore, and he asks Peter three times, “Do you love me?”  In the original Greek, the first two times, Jesus is asking, “Do you love me and are you willing to give your life to me?” Peter responds with, “Yes, I like you!” 

Jesus asks Peter a third time but this last time, Jesus uses the same verb Peter does and asks, “Do you like me.” But this time Peter is angry by Jesus third question. Perhaps Peter is angry because he realizes the depth of Jesus first two questions and now Jesus lowers his expectations to match the level of Peter’s responds. Jesus is not troubled by Peter’s responds, for he knows that Peter eventually prove how much he loves him, and Jesus will give him the keys to the kingdom of God. 

How will we respond to the same question Jesus is asking us today, “Do you love me?” Will we respond, “Well, Yes, I like you.” Or will we be able to respond, “Yes, Lord, I love you! I am willing to give my life to you? To do whatever you ask of me. To go wherever you want me to go, and to say whatever you want me to say!” Proof of that love will be seen in how we live our lives this day.  

The Eucharist is given to us to help us respond “yes!”