Let’s grow up!

 

Wednesday of the 22nd Week of Ordinary Time

I Corinthians 3:1-9

Luke 4:38-44

A goal we should have is to go to mass as often as we are able. It is the best thing we are going to do this day. It is not recess, although that will be fun, it is not the big gluten-free brownie I have on my kitchen counter, just waiting for me to enjoy. The best thing, is knowing the power and love of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.

In our first reading, St. Paul says, “I have tried to talk to you as mature people, but you are like children.” Paul has something very important to share, and the people are not spiritual ready to hear it. Thank God, you school children are here today, because there may be someone who thinks Paul is only talking to you. Paul is talking to all of us, to grow up in our faith and be mature in Christ.

In our Gospel, Jesus has a message that will need a mature faith to get it and understand it. As Jesus leaves the synagogue, he enters the home of Simon, where his mother-in-law is sick with a fever. He heals her, and then all who are sick or are in need of any kind of healing are brought to him. When he is tired and needs some time alone he retreats to a quiet place. The people follow him and beg him to stay. He tells them he needs to move on for there are others who are in need of his healing.

My friends in Christ, the people who need to be healed are us. We need to grow up, and believe in the healing power of Jesus Christ. He has come to save us, to be with us, to hold us, and to strengthen us. Let us give thanks for all that God is doing in our lives?

 

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Jesus says!

 

Tuesday of the 22 Week

Ordinary Time

I Corinthians 2:10-16

Luke 4:31-37

All School Mass to begin the School Year

Pick kids to play “Simon says.” Does everyone know how to play? Explain rules. Play a quick round, then have kids sit down. Does anyone know who Simon is? How did he get all the power to tell people what to do?

In our first reading, St. Paul, is playing a game of Simon says, but it is “Jesus says.” Paul is teaching the people about who Jesus Christ is, but they are having a hard time understanding. He tells them they already have been given a Spirit of understanding, just listen, and use this understanding.

In our Gospel, Jesus is also playing “Jesus says” as he was speaking in the synagogue. He speaks with great authority, and the people are amazed at his teaching. To prove how powerful his words are he heals a man.

We come to our Catholic School, to learn about math, science, history, reading, writing, but also to learn about Jesus Christ. We gather in this place to know that the most important words ever spoken are from Jesus Christ himself. His words have the power to change lives, for they will teach us to love, to forgive, and to grow in wisdom.

May the Eucharist we share strengthen us in our spiritual wisdom to know the will of God for us.

 

 

Be humble!

 

Twenty Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sirach 3: 17-18, 20, 28-29

Hebrews 12: 18-19, 22-24

Luke 14: 1, 7-14

 

At this time, will all those who truly exemplify humility, please stand? Either we have no one who is humble, or we have a church full of humble people. I know many of you to be humble for you have taught me, to be humble. Our readings speak to us about the virtue of humility.

Humility is not having a poor self-esteem, nor is it downplaying anything we do that is good. We can be strong and firm, and still be humble. The best definition of humility, that I could find is from C.S. Lewis, “Humility is not thinking less of ourselves; it is thinking of ourselves less.” True humility is knowing who we are through the eyes of God, with all of our gifts and weakness. What can help to keep us humble is a spirit of gratitude, knowing that God is with us, and blesses us?     

In the time of Jesus, there were set rules about dining with people. You would invite only those who were in your social class, who could invite you back. If I invited you to my home for dinner, there was an expectation, that at some time, you would invite me back. Things have not really changed all that much, if you think about it? You would never invite someone from a lower class, because they would not be able to reciprocate on the invitation. Now when Jesus observes the guest coming in and falling over themselves to get the place of honor, he finds this all amusing. His simple advice, “Would it not be better, to sit in the lowest place and be invited forward?”

I think this part if fairly easy to understand, we are called to be humble before God and others. I think God is asking more of us; we can do more! We need to understand, that when Jesus had dinner with someone, it was always with the intention of praying with people, with talking about all the things that God is doing in their lives, and to form a community. So when Jesus says, “Next time you have a dinner party, invite the poor, the lame, the downtrodden, and the outcast.” Jesus is taking the social norm, of inviting only those who would be able to reciprocate and throwing it out the window. His social norm is not about being invited back, but to form community. We do not need to go downtown, and load up our vehicles with a bunch of people. That will get you to heaven, but Jesus is talking about the people already in our midst. It is the people we may struggle to look at, or be with, of have not forgiven. Seeking communion, is our pathway to eternal life.

My friends in Christ, want to be humbled? Embrace the times this week, to be with those we struggle to get along with, and do not make it about us. The best sign of true humility is Jesus Christ dying upon the cross for us. May the word of God and the body and blood of God strengthen us to be humble in our families and workplace.   

Be filled with wisdom

 

Friday of the 21st Week

I Corinthians 1:17-25

Matthew 25:1-13

Without saying anything, look at the people and say, “With my new hearing aids, I am hearing what I was missing for so long, and how wonderful you sound!” We do not want to miss the message in our readings today.

Our readings today speak to us about the true meaning of wisdom. St. Paul says, the wisdom of Christ is not like the wisdom of the world. The wisdom of Christ is about giving ourselves to him and in service to one another. Our gospel is all about the five wise virgins who planned ahead looking forward for the bridegroom to appear.

How can we become wise and not continue to miss what the Lord wants us to hear and understand? Wisdom begins by giving our lives to Christ each day in prayer. Time spent in prayer with God is never wasted.

The other spiritual truth about wisdom is never to miss an opportunity to live in the present moment. It is easy to get caught up in the worries and concerns of our world and lives. What helps me live in the moment is to say, “Thank you Lord” about 100 times a day. Did you see the sunrise this morning? Thank you Lord! Did you see the fog fill in the country side? Thank you Lord!

The final thing that helps us live in the moment is receiving the Eucharist. How can we ever miss, the greatest gift that comes to us? Be filled with great wisdom today, and give God thanks and praise.  

Look busy?

 

Thursday of the 21st Week Ordinary

I Corinthians 1:1-9

Matthew 24:42-51

If we knew that Jesus was coming today, would we do anything differently? By our readings, we should just go about our daily plans.

In our first reading, Paul reminds the people that they have been chosen by God to lead holy lives. He gives thanks to God for all God is doing and will do in their lives, and finally, he tells them they have been given every spiritual gift they will ever need to get through whatever life will bring. 

In our Gospel, the question that is being addressed is, “Are the servants proving themselves to be faithful and prudent?” Jesus says, “Blessed is the servant whom the master on his arrival finds doing what is supposed to do.” Notice the servant is not blessed for sitting around, peering out the window looking at the horizon waiting for the master to return. Being ready, means that we have been doing the work of the Lord all along.

If Jesus is coming today, would we do anything differently? Well! If we are doing what we are supposed to do, and if we believe that God has given us everything we need to live a holy and faith-filled life, then we can go on and do what we have planned to do, and not change a thing. If you are nervous, then look busy!  

 

 

 

Come and See!

 

Friday of the 20th Week Ordinary Time

Feast of St. Bartholomew

Revelation: 21: 9-14

John 1: 45-51

I went to Walgreens yesterday to get some medicine, and not really sure what I should buy, I went up to the pharmacist to ask some questions. The pharmacist was very helpful and began to tell me all about the products I was interested in, and he was also a bit humors. I thanked him for his help, and for his funny disposition, and we parted ways. Then he yelled, “Are you a pastor?” Now I was dressed in full clerics! I said, “Yes” of which he said, “”I am a pastor also, and I have been to 98 different countries spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ.” At the end of our discussion, he said, “May God Bless You!”

As, I got to the counter to pay for my medicine, the young girl kept looking at me and asked, “I know, what you are. I just cannot think of the name of it.” I responded, “A Catholic priest?” of which she said, “Yes!” Now again, I am full clerics! She said, “I am a Christian, and God bless you.” On this feast day of St. Bartholomew, do we realize there are disciples all around us, and are we ready to respond?

In our Gospel, Philip goes to Bartholomew and says, “We have found the Messiah. He is Jesus’s son of Joseph from Nazareth.”

Bartholomew responds, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Philip responds, “Come and see!” Bartholomew would come and see, and what he would see would change his life forever, that today we remember his name, and aspire to be like him.

What we celebrate, on any of the feast days of the apostles, is the church’s foundation is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. Our hope is that we will come and see, all the great things that Bartholomew did and more and believe. If great things, such as being blessed twice came come from Walgreens then we should be willing to do even greater things in the name of Christ.

Life of uncertainty

 

Tuesday Twenty -First Week Ordinary Time

II Thessalonians 2:1-3, 14-17

Matthew 23: 23-26

I would say the past week was filled with great uncertainty. I really struggled last week to make sense of how I should act, or what I should say, it was really challenging, and it shook my self-confidence. These readings are perfect for me today to get me back on track where I need to be.

In our first reading, the Thessalonians are uncertain by the teaching they have been given, because they were told it was from Paul, but once they heard it; they were uncertain. Paul says, “Do not be shaken, hold on to what you know to be true.” It ends with Paul praying that God will give them the encouragement to hold on to their faith and to encourage them to continue doing good deeds in word and example.

In our Gospel, the Pharisees are making the people uncertain of how they are to live their faith, because they are being scrutinized by every little thing, they do by the Pharisees. Jesus is telling them, “Do not get dragged down with all these little things, know that I am God, and see the bigger picture of things.” Jesus continues by saying, “Make sure you never lose focus of the bigger picture which is to live for justice, mercy and fidelity to me.”  

If you are feeling battered, or beaten, or uncertain about some things, you are in the right place. Give all the uncertainties of our lives over to Jesus Christ, and get back to what you know to be true, that Jesus Christ is still our Lord and Savior.  The Eucharist we share, is our strong hold, do not live in fear.