Friday Eleventh Week of Ordinary Time
II Corinthians 11: 18, 21 30
I enjoy a good vacation and I had a very great time with my brother out in Maine. We went fishing every day, and we had some great dinners sitting around with his friends telling old stories and enjoying the conversation.
However, for all of the good times there were there was also some times of temptation, as I was out of my clerics, my suit of armor. I did not get in my hour of prayer, and I missed celebrating the Eucharist each day. My guard was down and the evil one new it.
What do we do when we are feeling weak?
In our first reading Paul is bragging, but he is not bragging about great things has done he is bragging about the things he has struggled with and sometimes failed in. He knows in his brokenness and failures that God was there to raise him up, because that is what God does. Paul in the next chapter would say, “That in my total weakness, is when I am made strong.”
Our Gospel today is a perfect one to follow up the writings of Paul, because it is a good reminder to us of what we are to do. Jesus says, “Store up your treasures in heaven, for where your treasure lies, is where your heart will be.”
We will all know times of temptation and failure, but do we know, like St. Paul that God is there to lift us up? When I was able to say “no” to temptation is when I was filled with grace and God came rushing in to my rescue.
The Eucharist is our reminder of God’s treasure to us. Let us live in God’s grace in failure and in triumph.
Because of a summer vacation trip planned with my brother fishing in Maine. I will not be posting anything until Friday, June 19th.
God Bless to all and may God’s word always burn in our hearts!
Thursday Tenth Week of Ordinary Time
Acts 11: 21-26, 13:1-3
Last All School Mass
If I wanted to build a home, what kind of person would I have to call to build my home? Answer – Carpenter – home builder.
Once my home starts to go up, and I wanted electricity in that home what kind of person am I going to have to call? Answer – an Electrician.
If I wanted water in my home, what kind of person will I have to call? Answer – a Plumber.
In our first reading, we heard that when a new church is beginning in Antioch, the apostles gathered together and sent Barnabas. His name means, “Son of encouragement.” They chose Barnabas because he was filled with the Holy Spirit. When he arrived in Antioch, he saw the grace of God working in the people. Barnabas rejoiced and worked hard to encourage the church to grow and for others to join the church.
Jesus says, in our Gospel, “That our righteousness needs to surpass that of our leaders.” Can our faith surpass that of Bishop David? Can our faith surpass that of Pope Francis? Those are words of encouragement that we are to live up to!
Our school year has come to an end and who does God need to go out into the world and help Him build His church? Us!
We live in great gratitude for the Eucharist we share and all that we learned this year. As we leave here today, let us live now encouraging others to know and to love Jesus Christ.
Tuesday of the Tenth Week of Ordinary Time
II Corinthians 1:18-22
Is there a difference between our public self and our private self? Is there a big difference between the person that everyone sees and the person that no-one sees? Our readings challenge us in a big way this day!
In our first reading, St. Paul is responding to the people by saying, “I am only trying to be more like Jesus Christ that whenever his Father wanted him to do something, Jesus always said ‘yes’ to doing the Father’s will.” Jesus never wavered and never changed his mind, and he let his speech and his actions speak that will.
In our Gospel, we hear, “You are the salt of the earth, and you are the light of the world.” We are not the salt and light of the world for our own betterment, but for the world’s betterment. It is not our light, the only light we have to offer is the reflected light of Christ, and this can simply be done in great humility. We need to have our mind, our heart and our soul all working together and not wavering to be good favorable salt and a shining light.
Let us pray that our mind, our heart and our soul will all work together so that we may say “yes” to being the salt and light to the world. The Eucharist is offered to us today to strengthen us to do God’s will.
The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
Exodus 24: 3-8
Hebrews 9: 11-15
Mark 14: 12-16, 22-26
Think for a moment of those relationships that we hold so dear and important to us for our well-being and growth? What are the rituals that we do to sustain these covenantal relationships? A covenantal relationship is a declaration of benefits to be given by one party to another, with or without conditions attached. As, I look at my relationships, the ones that are a covenant are the ones that begin with prayer, a meal is shared and then time for sharing and reflection. Stephen and I do this on Thursday evening. I do this with a good priest friend on Friday evening and then on Sunday evening. I do this with some very close friends. This ritual of prayer, a meal and reflection are what make these relationships so deep and sustain these covenantal relationships. Our feast day brings us to ask, “What are we doing to sustain through ritual these covenantal relationships?”
In our first reading from the book of Exodus, we hear of the elaborate ritual that Moses does to seal the covenant between God and his people. Moses sets an altar, with 12 pillars representing the 12 tribes of Israel. There is a sacrifice of young bulls that is offered and as Moses sprinkles the people with the blood signifying new life. They listen to the word of God, and this ritual binds them as a community to God in an everlasting covenant. The people respond, “We will do everything that the Lord told us.”
In our Gospel of Mark, the last meal that Jesus has with his disciples is the celebration of the Passover meal. They follow the ritual perfectly, but Jesus adds some new elements as he says, “Take it; this is my body, and this is my blood.” This whole ritual is done to bind his disciples to him in a covenantal relationship.
My friends in Christ we are called here today to be part of this ritual of prayer, meal, and sacrifice. When we do this we are called into a deeper covenantal relationship with Christ. We cannot be the Body of Christ without the Eucharist! As we are called here we will be sent out to strengthen our relationships into a covenant, remembering the cycle of prayer, meal and sacrifice. When we say “Amen” as we come to this sacred meal let us be saying just as the people did with Moses, “I will do everything the Lord God wants me to do.”
Friday Ninth Week
Tobit 11: 5-17
I am in a great mood this morning. I even have happy feet! Who else is filled with great delight? Why are you filled with delight?
In our Gospel, we are told that after listening to Jesus the people were “filled with great delight!” They are filled with great delight because the “messiah” is to be a “Son of David.” Jesus quotes from the psalms and lets them know that he does come from the “Son of David” but he is something even greater. The people are filled with “great delight.”
St. Boniface wants to be filled with “great delight” and prove that God is something even greater as he took an axe and went to the center of town and began to chop down the oak tree that the people had named Thor, as they worshiped it as a pagan god. The more he chopped the more the people feared that he would be struck down by the gods. When the tree hit the ground, he jumped onto the stump and screamed. Where is your god now? St. Boniface made his point that day, that our God is something even greater than any other god.
All you eight graders, have come to our school and have been given an excellent education and have been formed in the way of faith. You are leaving today being even greater than when you came. It will be up to you to take what you have learned and continue to put your faith into practice.
May we all know that the Eucharist is our delight and helps us to be even greater.
Thursday Ninth Week of Ordinary Time
Tobit 6:10; 7:1, 9-17; 8:4-9
Why did you come to mass today? I know why the fifth, sixth and first graders are here, because it is there day to come to mass. I know why, Stephen our seminarian is here because he is supposed to be here, it is part of his formation. Whatever reason you came it is God given, and we are to respond to Him in great love. Our readings challenge us to rise up to that great love!
In our gospel, a scribe comes to Jesus and asks, “Master what is the greatest of the commandments?” Jesus responds with, “To love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Jesus continued by saying, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
We have heard this so many times before, does it wash over us with no effect? Can we really love God and love our neighbor with all of our heart, soul and mind? It might be easier to love God than our neighbor! In the gospel of Matthew, we are told that we will be judged by how we love our neighbor.
Tobiah, in our first reading is a great example for us to what we are called to do. Tobiah knows all about Sarah’s past; how she has had seven husbands who all died on their wedding night. Tobiah is willing to risk it all because he has been told that “Your marriage has been decided in heaven.” Tobiah loves God and wants to serve God, and he has great love for Sarah and only wants to serve her as her husband. Tobiah is blessed greatly because he does what is commanded of him by God.
It may be hard to live this great commandment but it does not mean that we should not try to live it. In my own life, I know that I am most happy and filled with great joy when I am doing what God commands of me. I may be tried, but I am happy!
The Eucharist is given to us to give us the grace to love God and our neighbor.