Let us learn a lesson

 

Friday Tenth Week of Ordinary Time

I Kings 1:9, 11-16

Matthew 5:27-32

All School Mass

Last Day of School

Tell me something that you learned this year, that you did not know at the beginning of the school year? Solicit answers from students.

There is one more lesson that I would like for us to learn, and put into our hearts.

In our first reading, Elijah looks for God in all the usual ways, but does not encounter God. It is in the smallest of whispers that God chooses to reveal himself. We are always to search for God in our lives, but God comes to us in the simplest ways.

Our Responsorial Psalm is perfect for us on this last day of school. The psalmist says, “I long to see your face.” This should be our prayer, as we leave school for this year and head into summer vacation.

As we leave for summer vacation, we must not lose the lessons that we have learned in this school year. We need to search for God and long to see his face. We do this by remembering to say our prayers, at morning and at night, and before we eat something. We need to come to mass, even when it is a nice day. We must never take our faith for granted, because what you have been given is a treasured gift.

As you leave us, may God also bless you!

 

 

 

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Does anyone have anything against us?

 

Thursday Tenth Week of Ordinary Time

I Kings 18:41-46

Matthew 5:20-26

Our readings hit us today like an upper cut thrown from Muhammad Ali, the readings “Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.”

In our Gospel, Jesus says, “If you get to the altar with your gift, and recall that anyone has anything against you, leave the gift at the altar and go and be reconciled, then come back to your gift at the altar.” It is not enough, to come and kneel down and say our prayers, and know who we are made at. That is easy! The words of Christ want us examine our lives, and review our behavior, to make sure there is no anger, or hurt that others have against us.

I love our first reading, and here is why. Elijah, tells his servant, seven times to climb up the mountain and look out to the sea, to see if there are any rain clouds coming. On the seventh time, the servant sees a small cloud, way out, in the distance, he says, “it is the size of a man’s head.” Even though it is very small, as it draws closer, it brings a torrential rain. 

This is reflective of our lives, where we need to examine our lives and remember even the smallest of hurtful things against another, can have huge consequences. We are only in harmony with God, as we are in harmony with one another. 

May we begin that process right now before we receive the Eucharist today?

 

You can do more!

 

Wednesday Tenth Week of Ordinary Time

I Kings 18:20-39

Matthew 5:17-19

As I reflect on our readings, the message that comes to me, you may not like it, I did not when I first heard it. I hear, God saying, “You can do more!” I got called to the hospital, but lord I do not want to go. God said, “You can do more!” But Lord, I have yet, to write my homily for this evening! God said again, “You can do more!” God did do more, as the visit was life giving and life changing. Thank you God.  

In our first reading, the people of God have all fallen away from believing in the Lord God and have put their faith in the pagan god Baal. Elijah calls an assembly of all the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal to gather at Mount Carmel. Elijah has the prophets of Baal offer their sacrifice and gives them every opportunity to show the power of Baal, but nothing happens. Elijah shows in dramatic fashion, how much God can do by pouring water on his sacrifice, and it still lights into a burning flame. Now the people know that God is the most powerful God, and now they need to do more. They proclaim, “The Lord is God! The Lord is God!”

In our Gospel, Jesus teaches that he has not come, not to abolish the law, but to fulfill the law. Jesus is encouraging the people that following him is going to require following a higher standard than what is expressed in the law. This higher standard reflects God’s ultimate intention for his people.

We can and should do more! God is requiring us to do it!

 

What can we do to share the Light of Christ?

 

Tuesday of the Tenth Week of Ordinary Time

I Kings 17:7-16

Matthew 5:13-16

Tonight, is our 8th grade graduation. We graduate seven of some of the finest kids in our school. They have been the best of examples, to their fellow students. They have all been shining stars, and wonderful seasoning to our school. Our readings challenge us to ask, “What can we do to share in God’s love in the World?”

The widow in our first story, shares God’s love by sharing her last cup of flour and oil with the prophet Elijah. She and her son are rewarded by this act of love, by being given food for the rest of their lives, even in time of great famine.

In our Gospel, we hear about how to share in God’s love as Jesus says, “You are the salt of the earth. You are the light to the world.” If you are now saying, “Oh, no, not me?” please notice that Jesus said, “You are” he did not say you will become the light of the world. We were given the light of Christ at our baptism, and it is up to us to keep our light burning brightly.

“What can we do to share in God’s love in the World?” G.K. Chesterton said, “The Christian idea has not been tried and found wanting; it is has been found difficult and left untried.” When we fail to love with all we have and to live like saints, the world wins. In this Eucharist, may we be given the strength and the desire to share in God’s love in the World.”

 

Trust in the Lord

 

Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

I Kings 17:17-24

Galatians 1:11-19

Luke7:11-17

I have three pennies to give away, who would want one? (Give pennies away) I noticed that not many of you wanted a penny. Pennies, they are only worth 1 cent, we cannot buy much with just one. Would it have made a difference, if I told you that one of those pennies, might be worth about $33.00? Now you are re-thinking your decision of not raising your hand. I wonder, if we don’t do the same thing in regards to our faith when difficult times come. How do we get through times of profound disappointment and grief? Do we use our faith, to help us? Our readings today help us to understand how to use our faith in desperate times.

In our first reading, Elijah the prophet has been staying with a Gentile woman and her son. Remember the story, of the widow and her son, who only have a bit of flour and oil, they are going to eat it and then starve because they have nothing else. This is the family, and Elijah has stayed true to his promise from God that they would have enough food. When the son dies, the woman cries out, “Why have you done this to me, is this to call attention to my guilt?” Elijah is confused by her remarks, because he is convince that God led him to be with them. Elijah does not have a plan, but he has faith, he knows he cannot help this child, but he knows by faith that God can. Elijah takes the son to an upper room, and pleads with God by saying, “O Lord, my God” and the breath of the Lord brings the son back to life. Elijah relies totally on God when in a difficult time.

In our Gospel, Jesus is entering the town of Nain with a large crowd around him and leaving the town at the same time is a large funeral crowd who is grieving the loss of an only son of his mother who was a widow. In the story, the crowds now seem to vanish, and all that is left is Jesus, the woman, and her dead son. Jesus only focus is this woman and he is filled with great compassion for her, because he knows she is now penniless, maybe homeless and she has no way of making a living for herself, she can only rely on the generosity of others. Jesus knows he can do something so he steps forward, touches the coffin, which would make him unclean, but he is not determined, and tells the young man, “to get up” and he does.

As we gather, we need to know that when Jesus hears of us in grief he will breathe new life into us. Are we willing to believe by faith, no matter how small our faith to believe that God is saying to us, “Allow me to give you new life?” May the Eucharist strengthen our faith to help us through our troubled times

 

Lost, but Found!

 

The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

Ezekiel 34:11-16

Romans 5:5-11

Luke 15:3-7

All School Mass

 

 

Have you ever lost anything before? What was it? How much time did you spend looking for it?

There are only a few days left of school and there are a few things in the “Lost but not Found” box. (Pull out items!) 

Today we celebrate the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is all about knowing that when we are lost, God is already searching for us because he loves us so much.  

In our Gospel, we hear of the parable of one sheep that wanders away from the other ninety-nine. The shepherd leaves all the sheep to go and find the one sheep. Some would ask, “Why leave ninety-nine to find one? You might lose even more!” The shepherd finds it unacceptable that one sheep is out there in the wilderness all alone.

What we celebrate today is that God’s heart is on fire for love for us, and if we should ever stray, and sometimes we do; Jesus will seek us out and bring us back. We have value from the moment we are conceived, because God created us. We can do nothing to earn God’s love; it is just freely given. St. Paul says, “The love of God is poured into our hearts.”

Whoever is worried, or anxious, or afraid today, know that God is right with you. Do not ever doubt it, but believe! The Eucharist we share, is God’s reminder to us of his love for us.

 

Love God first

 

Thursday Ninth Week of Ordinary Time

II Timothy 2:8-15

Mark 12:28-34

Stephen Covey, who wrote “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” is famous for his business principle: “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” Covey’s saying is completely right. If our main thing, is to love, then keep loving, the main thing.”

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.” Applying Covey’s business principle, the first of the commandments is a whole hearted love of God, which then spills over into loving others, just the same. It is easy to love those who love us, it is much harder to love those who do not love us. Two things to remember, always return to loving God, and pray for those who we struggle to love, and who struggle to love us.  

In the letter of St. Paul to his good friend Timothy. Paul is in prison, and an old man, but he shares his wisdom of being a disciple of Jesus Christ with great joy. Paul says, “Be eager to present yourself as acceptable to God, a workmen who causes no disgrace, imparting the word of truth without deviations.” Never lose your focus on God.

This passage is given to us twice each year as a reminder to us just how important these words are to us. Let us be strengthened in the Eucharist to love God first above all things, so that Jesus will say to us, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”