Jesus, the gift of a million dollars and more!

 

Thirty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time

Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31

I Thessalonians 1:1-6

Matthew 25: 14-30

 

What if just coming to Mass we were all given a million dollars? Yes, I mean everyone, all those visiting, and all those who are still checking us out, and of course all those who have been members for a while. In a spiritual sense anytime we celebrate the Eucharist we are given a million dollars’ worth of Jesus Christ and even more. If we really understood this “Would it be enough for you to come back next week? Would you come back next week with more money?” As the Church year comes to an end, “What are we doing with all that God has given us?” What will we do with it?

 

In our first reading, we hear about a worthy wife. It is a beautiful reading which is often read at a woman’s funeral. I am not going to wait until a funeral, so I want to thank all the wives and women who are living this way. To all the husbands you would do well and dust off your bibles and find this passage and thank God for your wives in the name of God. So what is this woman that Proverbs is talking about in this reading? This woman is praised for her resourcefulness to her family and in her community. She is praised not because she has so much to do but because how she does these things “With the fear of the Lord.”  This ideal wife becomes all that God wanted her to be, and this image can be expanded to be all of us. What are we be called to be?

 

In our Gospel, we hear of three servants who are each given a large sum of money. The only instructions are they are being trusted with the master’s money, and he tells them he will return someday. Two of the servants love the master and want to be like him, and they do all they can to give back to the master all that he has given them. When the master returns and these two servants have produced more they are told, “Come, share in your master’s joy.” The third servant fears the master and thinks the master is demanding, so he simply returns the money to him, not even investing any of it to make more. This servant is sent to eternal darkness.

 

We gather to answer the question, “What will we do with the million dollars that God is giving us right now?” Are we becoming all that God wants us to be? We desire to hear God say to us, “Good work good and faithful servant.”

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Can we see somehting more?

 

Friday of the 31st Week

All School Mass

Wisdom 13:1-9

Luke 17:26-37

St. Elizabeth of Hungry

 

Have some objects and ask the students the following questions?

 

Where is this rosary made? Answer Jerusalem

Where are our songbooks made? Chicago, Illinois

Where is your coat made?

Where is your hat made?

 

Now tell me what person made the rosary, our songbooks, your coat or your hat?

 

We know where the things were made, but we do not know the person.

 

In our first reading, the people would see a beautiful sunrise, a beautiful landscape, a beautiful set of stars in the sky and praise those things as gods. The writer of Wisdom says, “You fail to see the creator of things as the one true God.” These people should have seen these things and given that’s to God for his beauty that he created.  

 

Today we celebrate St. Elizabeth of Hungry, a woman who looked at the sick, the poor those starving from hunger and she saw the face of God.

 

As we look at this simple bread and wine may we see more and know the power of this Eucharist.

 

 

Are we just living or really searching for Christ in our lives?

 

Wednesday of the 32sd Week

Wisdom 6:1-11

Luke 17:11-19

 

Recently, someone said to me, “Before my wife died, I was just living, now I am searching!” How are we just living today, and how does God want us to be a searcher for him? Our readings challenge us to be aware of all that God is doing in our lives.

 

In our first reading of the book of Wisdom, the author is writing to Kings and telling them it is not enough just to rule over people. To be a true King, they are to rule the people with righteousness because God will judge them harder than the worst sinner of their land.

 

In our Gospel, we hear the story of Jesus healing the ten lepers. Lepers had to live outside the walls of the city, they could not have anyone come near them, and when people did come near, there were to yell, “Unclean, unclean.” It would be a horrible way to live! One can easily sympathize that all the lepers wanted would be to be healed and return to their families and loved ones. When Jesus does heal the ten lepers, he tells them to show themselves to the priest as prescribed by Jewish law. All ten wanted to be healed, and all ten were healed, but only one wanted something more to be healed on the inside.

 

How do we search for something more this day? We do this by knowing the love and authority of God. We do this by living in gratitude for God’s care and presence in our lives. Finally, we do this by going a different way just as the one leper returned to Jesus.

 

May we live searching for something more in our lives right now? That something more is right here in front of us now in this Holy Eucharist.

 

 

 

Just believe!

 

Tuesday of the 32sd Week

Wisdom 2:23-3:9

Luke 17: 7-10

 

I love our readings because they give us all we need to live our faith today. Faith is not about having more; we will never have enough. Faith is about using what we have already been given because we have everything we need to win the battles of temptation, doubt, and fear. God does not deal with “what if’s” but only with “what is.”

 

To have real faith it begins by doing what our Responsorial psalms say to do, “I will bless the Lord at all times.” We bless the Lord in all times, which means in good times and in the troubling times.  

 

To have faith means we learn the lesson in our Gospel, that is when a servant comes home from a long day’s work they then need to make a meal for their master. Jesus says, “We are just unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.” The words of Jesus bring us back to our original point, use the faith that has been given us.

 

If we live to use our faith, then we have nothing to worry about because the writer of Wisdom says, “When the just die, they will be held in the palm of God’s hand, and no torment will touch them.”

 

As we have powerful readings for us today, may we live our faith well today and never tire of doing the will of God.

 

 

 

 

Are we ready for the long haul?

 

Thirty – Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

Wisdom 6:12-16

I Thessalonians 4:13-18

Matthew 25: 1-13

 

It used to be, back in the day, when we were going to visit our grandparents we would have to wash up, put on clean clothes, which meant pants with no holes in them, and we told, that we would have to behave ourselves. When we arrived, we had to greet grandpa and grandma, with a hug and a kiss, and sit on the couch or floor, and pretend to be angels. Now this behavior was ok, in the short run, but if we had to do it for too long something was going to happen. Now with grandpa Cloutier, my mom’s father, he had a stroke and could not talk, so I never remember him saying a word, but he had a gift. Grandpa could tell when we were getting to the end of our goodness, so he would get up and go over to a tall china cabinet and pull down a beautiful white container that he kept filled with M&M’s. He would scoop a big handful of M&M’s and pour them one at a time into our little hands; then he would motion for us to go out in the backyard and play. You see, for us four boys and one girl we could only stay good for a short while, and that was it. Our readings today are about staying prepared for the short run but also for the long run. 

 

In our first reading of the book of Wisdom, we hear, that if we want to be prepared for all things in Christ Jesus, we are to seek wisdom as a prize, we are not to sit back waiting for wisdom to find us. We are to cultivate a spirit of knowing God’s will, and we do this by seeking wisdom. To seek wisdom is to have a “holy indifference” and what I mean by that is when our will matches with God’s will. When whatever decision we are trying to make we can say, “God, here is where I am at, if you have a different plan, I know that you will be with me, please show me your way.”  

 

In our Gospel, we hear the parable of the ten maidens who were waiting for the bridegroom to come. At a wedding during the time of Jesus, the bridegroom was the main person, not the bride. Sorry ladies! What would happen is the bridegroom would be at his home, and the bride would be at her home. The bridegroom would leave his home to receive his bride, along the way would be the intended guests and bridal party. When the bridegroom arrived at the home of his bride he would have all those with him who would be attending their wedding, he would then escort his bride and all the guest back to where the wedding and party would be taking place. In this parable, we hear of ten maidens who are waiting, but only five have prepared well by bringing extra oil and five maidens who did not prepare well because they did not bring any extra oil. When the bridegroom arrives very late, only those maidens who prepared well by bringing extra oil were allowed to come into the party. Now I know what you may be thinking, why did they just not share their oil? Remember, parables are always to teach us something we did not see coming. In this case, it is, we cannot share our salvation with another, we can share our faith, but the person has to own their own salvation their own oil, and then they will be prepared to enter the kingdom of God. 

 

We know that Christ is coming, but how are we preparing for his coming, in the short run, and the long run? How is our prayer life, are we receiving the sacraments as much as we are able? Are we living the corporal and spiritual works of mercy? This is how we prepare for Christ coming, may we be wise and not foolish this week. 

Make a full account our ourselves to God!

 

Friday Thirty – First Week Ordinary Time

Romans 15:14-21

Luke 16: 1-8

Feast Day of St. Leo the Great!

All School Mass

 

I want everyone to stand. Everyone up! In our gospel, you heard the master say to his servant, “Prepare a full account of yourself?” Today I want you to prepare a full account of your behavior.

 

Who had homework last night? If you did not do your homework the first time, your parents told you to, sit down?

 

If you did not go to bed when your parents told you to, sit down?

 

If you did not make your bed this morning, sit down?

 

If you fought or said, something means to your brother, sister or parent this morning, sit down?

 

If you are willing to do whatever it takes to get to heaven, by making the changes God is asking us to make, stand up.

 

In the Gospel, there is a man who after being told to make a ‘full account of himself’ looks at his life and does whatever it talks to get to make a change in his life.

 

In our first reading, Paul takes a full account of himself and says, “I have been given a special gift, to do whatever it takes to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. I must go, and he wants to go places where no one has gone to share what Jesus means to him in his life.

 

As we gather we need to be ‘making a full account’ of our lives, and do whatever it takes to get to heaven. Our Catholic School is the best place to learn about our faith and to learn about Jesus Christ. Hopefully, it is also the best place to live our Catholic faith.  Let us make sure that all of our behavior is Christ-like!

We are a living temple of God!

 

Introduction: Today we celebrate The Dedication of St. John Lateran Basilica in Rome. The Lateran Basilica is the cathedral of Rome, with the Pope is its Bishop; it is the mother church of all churches. This feast prompts us to rejoice in the gift of the Church in our lives.

The Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome

Ezekiel 47:1-2, 8-9, 12

I Cor. 3:9-11, 16-17

John 2:13-22

Proper of Saints pg. 847

Preface pg. 848

Gloria

 

Today we celebrate the Feast Day of St. John Lateran the cathedral of Rome. It is the birthday of this Church, an occasion for celebrating and rejoicing. The Dedication of St. John Lateran marks the first time that believers gathered in one public place to worship God. As we celebrate this day, it reminds us that the church building is only a sign of the mystical body of Christ. At baptism, we are given the privilege of being temples of Christ. We are the living temples, of God’s grace. God not only dwells in beautiful churches like ours but each soul made by God’s loving hand.  

 

In our first reading from Ezekiel, we hear that from the holy temple, water flowed out first as only a trickle, but it became a flowing river. Everything that came into contact with this water flourished. As a temple of God, will everything that flows from us bring new life?

 

St. Paul reminds us that we are a living temple of God and that we are to build our lives on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ. We need to be careful how we build on the foundation of Jesus Christ.”  

 

In our Gospel, Jesus demonstrates His respect for keeping the physical church building clean in the presence of God. How will we protect and keep clean the temple of God in us?

 

Our feast day reminds us of our obligation to be a dwelling place for God. People should be able to experience the presence of God when they are near us, not because we are holy, but because God is holy and He is dwelling in us. We need to keep this temple clean and pure and know that God is in our midst. May we come with zeal to this Eucharist to be made the temple of God’s grace so that we may, in the end, enter the dwelling place of glory.