We have been called!

Friday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

Hebrews 8:6-13

Mark 3:13-19 

What historic event takes place beginning at 11:30 this morning?

Answer: The inauguration of President – Elect Mr. Donald J. Trump will be made our new 45 president of United States. 

What long-standing tradition will President –Elect Donald Trump have to do to become President?  

Answer: Take the presidential oath, which has been handed down for years.   

Long before our country was founded, Jesus began a tradition of calling people to follow him. In our Gospel today Jesus goes up a mountain, any time we hear about a mountain in Sacred Scripture get ready because something is about to happen. Jesus calls 12 others to follow him because he needs them to help him. This is probably the biggest thing that I find amazing about Jesus. He is God, he could have done it all on his own, yet he says, “Nope, I am not doing this all on my own, I need others.” He calls them “apostles” which means “to be sent out.” Eventually, he would send them out to preach, teach, and to heal, and he would give them the power to succeed.  

I am now standing on this mountain and I am looking at the new apostles of Jesus Christ. Jesus is calling us to follow him, but it demands us to respond. Are we willing to accept this call to be an apostles for Jesus Christ? The Good News is Jesus is giving all of his very best to do his will. Can we think, act and speak differently? Who will accept this challenge?

 

 

 

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He will always take care of us!

 

Thursday of the Second Week

Of Ordinary Time

Hebrews 7:25-8:6

Mark 3:7-12 

Our readings continue with what has been the theme all week for our readings, and that is “Who is Jesus Christ, and what does he mean to us?” The difference today is that the answer to this question is going to demand a big responds. 

The writer of Hebrews continues to develop the identity of Jesus Christ as the High Priest. Today the passage is about comparing the High Priest of the temple to Jesus Christ. The writer makes the comparison that the priest of the temple offered sacrifice daily for the people for their sins. Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead once for all of us. Jesus is a mediator to God. The best line is the verse which says, Jesus is “always” able to save those who approach him. 

We see this being played out in our Gospel, as Jesus is no longer battling all those who were opposed to him and putting him to the test. Now he is at the Sea of Galilee and there are people who are coming to him from over 100 miles away. The crowds are so large he fears they will crush him, but what does he do? He does not get in the boat and sail away, he does not run away. He stands right in the middle of this huge crowd and allows all who need healing to touch him and be healed. 

How will we respond knowing that Jesus will “always” take care of us today? This Eucharist is already testimony that he has come to save us. So, chill out!

 

 

Who is Jesus to us today?

 

Wednesday of the Second Week

Of Ordinary Time

Hebrews 7:1-3, 15-17

Mark 3:1-6 

Do we know why we are here and for what purpose we are here? Do we know why it is important to know Jesus Christ and what difference he makes in our lives? Our being here is already making a statement that we believe in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Sometimes we need to ask the most basic of questions to keep ourselves on track. Our readings are all about who is Jesus Christ and what does he mean to us? 

Who is Jesus Christ is being asked in our first reading. We hear about this mysterious king and priest Melchizedek who appeared in Genesis to Abraham who was returning from battle and he blessed Abraham and offered him bread and wine. Because he waited on Abraham the Jewish people held him up to be honored. The writer of Hebrews says, even though Melchizedek was great Jesus is better and greater. 

In our Gospel, we hear a wonderful story of Jesus healing a man with a withered hand. However, the reading is not really about the healing, the man does not ask to be healed and Jesus only commands for him to stretch out his hand. The reading is about who Jesus is and who he thinks he is by breaking the Sabbath and doing work on the Sabbath. The Pharisees were the ones who held the Law and the Torah up. There thinking was, no one from God would break the Law of God. 

Who is Jesus to us today? By our thoughts, and by our words and by our actions we will be defining to others what we think of Jesus Christ. May we take Jesus in from this Eucharist and tell others who he is by our thoughts, words and actions.

 

 

 

 

When nothing makes sense!

 

Tuesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

Hebrews 6:10-20

Mark 2:23-28

Feast of St. Anthony

 

Nothing makes sense of this weather! It is supposed to be the coldest, snowiest time of the winter and yet we are getting rain with temperatures going to record breaking highs. What do we do when our lives are not making sense? 

What do we do when our lives are not making sense? We should learn from our first reading. The writer says God is never going to overlook any of our work or our acts of kindness, no matter how little or how big. When things do not make sense, or when things seem out of control, remember, God never forgets how hard we try to do his will.

I love what he says next, he tells us we have an anchor tied to us. Here is the good part, instead of us hanging onto the loose end and the anchor is at the bottom of the lake. The anchor is put in our hearts, and the other end is tied to Jesus Christ. He is hanging on to us. God is guiding us holding us, guiding us to where he wants us to go.   

When things are not making sense, just do what Jesus says to do the Gospel, which is always keep holy the Sabbath. When things are out of control get to church. When we come to Eucharist, is we are able to rise above what burdens us to freedom in Jesus Christ. The purpose of keeping the Sabbath is to give us freedom from our burdens and cares. 

What does not make sense is that simple bread and wine will become the body and blood of Christ. May whatever does not make sense, makes sense through celebrating this Eucharist.  

We have been introduced to Christ

 

Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

Isaiah 49: 3, 5-6

I Corinthians 1: 1-3

John 1:29-34 

We have all probably have experienced good introductions and not so good introductions. The clumsy ones are when you stick out your hand and say your name and the other person does not stick out their hand nor say their name. Awkward! In looking up Miss Manners the rules of proper etiquette for introductions, she says there are four things that should always be done. The first is the most important and if you forget the other three, remember to do step one. Step one – Smile! Smile, and look interested in meeting the other person. Step two – Look the person in the eye’s or at least at their face. Don’t look down. Step three – If you are sitting you should always try and stand up to meet the person. Finally – Have something to say! The best thing is your name, and then follow that up and opened ended question to get the conversation going. 

Our readings today all speak to us about being introduced to God. What would it be like to be introduced to Jesus Christ? Can we only imagine what this would be like?  

In our Gospel, John the Baptist introduces the whole crowd to Jesus by saying, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” To all the Jewish people standing there, this statement would immediately bring those memories of the feast of Passover and their ancestors being freed from Egypt. What memories does it invoke in us? I will be saying these very same words, right after we exchange the sign of peace and before we receive communion. I will raise up, the chalice with the host above and say those same words. John then goes on to say, “Now that I have been introduced to him, I cannot stop talking about him. The Gospel writer John has John the Baptist saying twice, “I did not know him!” However, when John is introduced to him as the Jordon River, his life is changed forever. 

St. Paul in our second reading is saying, “I have been introduced to Jesus Christ, and I know who he is, and I am now one of his apostles.” He goes on to say, “Once you have been introduced to Jesus Christ we are charged to be holy.” Who are we today because of meeting Jesus Christ? Are we holy, or as holy as we should be? What does it mean to be holy? In our spiritual lives, there will always be the fight between doing good and doing evil. Should I look at inappropriate things on the computer of not? Should I get drunk and act foolishly or not? This battle will always rage on, but if we are really trying to be holy, this battle will become less and less. What we want to get to in our spiritual lives is choosing the good or the better. I need to pray. Is it five minutes, is it a half-hour, or is it an hour a day? I need to forgive. Is it one time, or do we need to repeat the process, a few more times? The result of this kind of holiness is absolute joy. This is what we are aiming for in our spiritual lives. 

Right now, we are being introduced to God in a brand new way. Will we smile, look God in the eyes, stand up, and will we have something to say? This introduction to Jesus will demand some kind of evidence that we know who he is. May this Eucharist help us to live for Christ and to give evidence of him in our lives?

 

 

Called to bring others to Christ

 

Friday of the First week of Ordinary Time

Hebrews 4:1-5, 11

Mark 2:1-12 

What is awesome about our Gospel story today?

Answer: What is awesome is the guy is healed and the guy’s friends do all they can to bring him to Christ! 

Who are the people who do all they can to bring us to Christ?

Answer: Grandparents, parents, teachers, etc. 

What I believe our story shows us is God really wants us to bring others to Him. When Jesus Christ sees how these friends have brought the paralyzed man to him he sees their faith and he heals the paralyzed man. 

Today something amazing is going to happen! Deena Shollenberger, she is going to be baptized. Her parents, Dean and Debbie, have great faith and want her to be raised Catholic. They bring her today, just as the paralyzed man was brought to Christ. All of us, are going to be part of something great. 

May what we do here, be a sign to all of us that we need to bring others to Christ.

 

 

What are we struggling with today?

 

Thursday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

Hebrews 3:7-14

Mark 1:40-45 

What are we struggling with to believe or to accept today? Our readings speak to us profoundly on what we are to do. 

In our first reading from the book of Hebrews, it says, “Do not have an unfaithful heart, as to forsake the living God. Encourage yourselves daily not to give up, not to have our hearts grow hard. Stay as a partner with Christ and hold on.” Those are great words to live by today! 

In our Gospel, the man with leprosy has the worst disease of this period of time. A person with leprosy would have to live away from family, outside the city walls, beg for food, and would be a total outcast. When Jesus comes around this leper makes a complete profession of faith as he kneels down and says, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Here is where the ultimate healing takes place as Jesus wants this man to know the love and power of God. Jesus is moved with such “pity” he touches the man, which would break with the rabbinic law, and he proclaims, “I do will it. Be made clean.” This man never gave up believing, never gave up hoping and was ready when God was ready to act. 

What do we need to bring to the Lord that we feel is hopeless or helpless? God is waiting to do the same for us, may we not give up on him.