Wednesday Tenth Week of Ordinary Time
I Kings 18:20-39
St. Anthony of Padua
It is ok to fail at what we are not good at so we can succeed at what we are passionate at! It is finding our passion and exceeding at this a hundredfold.
In our first reading, Elijah knows what he is good at which is believing in the power of God in his life. He is absolutely in on God. Elijah invites all four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal call to a barbeque, but no one brought matches to start the fire. To get their fire started the prophets of Baal call out to their god all morning long. When the fire does not start in the afternoon, they dance and jump around the altar until exhausted, yet the barbeque is not lit.
Elijah is so sure of God and his presence he pours fours containers of water on his barbeque and then he prays to God to light his barbeque, and God sends fire from heaven.
In our Gospel, Jesus is saying you can fail at many things but what I am going to give you is a sure recipe for success, because “I have 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.
Our passion today needs to be on God, so fail at what is not God’s so he can bring us to a higher standard.
Tuesday of the Tenth Week of Ordinary Time
I Kings 17:7-16
Without a doubt, this is my favorite time of the year. I love that it is still light at 10:00 o’clock in the evening and that by 5:00 the morning light is coming over the horizon. It is a good reminder to us of how much the light of Christ is to be shining through us.
I have read this first reading many times, and each time I think, “Elijah sounds bossy to this widow, and he is asking a lot of her.” As I have done more reflecting, I have changed that point of view because he is only letting the light of God shine through him. Here is what I mean by that, Elijah has been running for his life as King Ahab and his wife, Queen Jezebel, want him dead. The Lord God tells Elijah to run away and go to a river bed where animals will bring him food. When the water dries up in the river bed, God tells him to go to a foreign country, and there he will encounter a widow. Elijah is trusting in the Lord that God will take care of him. When Elijah arrives in this foreign land as sees the widow he asks for a drink of water, this will cost her nothing, so she goes and gets him a drink. When he asks to be served something to eat, now this will cost her own life but also the life of her son as she has just put a little flour and a little oil. As the light of God shines through Elijah, the woman does as she is told and God takes care of her and her son and they do not die of starvation.
In our Gospel, Jesus challenges us to allow his light to shine through us. We are not the light we only let the light of Christ shine through us.
What will people see in us as the light of God shines through us?
Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
II Corinthians 4:13-5:1
Who wants to be “Out of their mind?” Sometimes I am “Out of my mind” with excitement, but I am easily excited! I am worried when the day comes when I am really “Out of my mind” that I then will say whatever is on my mind with no filters. In our Gospel, Jesus is accused of being, “Out of his mind” by his family and maybe he is out of his mind, but he is not out the mind of God!
In our first reading from the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve are “Out of their minds but in a slightly different way. It is what a parent says to their child, “Are you out of your mind! What did you think when you did that?” It is God saying to Adam and Eve I gave you everything and it still was not enough?” Adam and Eve are out of their minds as they decide to eat from the tree of knowledge that God has told them not to eat. They are out of their minds because Adam blames Eve, and Eve blames the serpent. We need to know we are just like them as we are out of our minds. There is always going to be some temptation hanging on the lowest branch for us to grab onto. Many times we are “out of our minds” for reaching for the temptation and not reaching for Christ who can help us.
In our Gospel, Jesus is at home, but none of his family is present with him. Perhaps his family went away to figure out what they were going to do with him because they have decided he “out of his mind,” and they have come to save him. The family has heard Jesus healing on the Sabbath, eating with the best-known sinners, and preaching things never heard before, so they plan an intervention to take him away quietly. When they arrive, it is worse than what they had thought it would be. There was a large crowd; they could not get into their own home, so they send a message to Jesus. It had to be confirmed that Jesus was out of his mind when his family heard him say, “My family is anyone who does the will of my Father.”
My friends in Christ maybe it is us saying to God, “Are you out of your mind? What you are asking of me is too hard. I cannot love them, they do not love you as much as I love you?” God responds to us, “Show them my love and be out of your mind!” We say, “I cannot forgive them!” God says, “Be out of your mind with forgiveness. We need be “Out of our minds, but we will not be out of God’s minds!”
The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
Hosea 11: 1, 3-4, 8-9
Ephesians 3:8-12, 14-19
All School Mass
Who is excited about summer vacation?
Yes, all of you should be excited about summer vacation because you deserve it.
Today we celebrate the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, and it is a perfect way to end the school year because we all need to know the love of God.
I am also looking forward to my summer vacation as I begin a new assignment at Holy Spirit Parish. Oh, do not misunderstand me, it is very hard to leave, but I know where I am going I will experience the love of God in the people of Holy Spirit. I know that I will experience the love of God in the school children of Holy Spirit. I know that God will reveal his love to me in a wonderful way at Holy Spirit Parish just as he has done here.
I want to thank all of you for showing me the love of God. As we journey forward in faith may we do so knowing the love of God for us?
Thursday Ninth Week of Ordinary Time
II Timothy 2:8-15
Today is the last full day of classes for our students as tomorrow is a half day of school. Our students have learned so much this year, but hopefully, there is one more lesson we need to learn today, and that is to give our hearts to God totally, so we can love him and love our neighbor.
St. Paul says to his good friend Timothy, “Be a good worker for God and be filled with grace.” “Be a good worker?” Paul says, “Because we have a lot of work to do! There is a lesson you need to learn over and over again.”
In our Gospel, a scribe comes to Jesus because he realizes that burnt offerings are not enough and he is seeking something more in his life. This guy is not like the rest he genuinely wants an answer from Jesus that will help him grow in holiness. The scribe 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.” Jesus is telling the man, that you ask for one answer, I gave you two, but they are inseparable.
This is a lesson we will be tested on time and time again this day. We will know when we have passed and we will know when we have not done well. In this Eucharist may we pray to pass the test that God is giving us.
Wednesday Ninth Week of Ordinary Time
II Timothy 1:1-3, 6-12
Have you ever noticed that birds are most active early in the morning before dawn and late in the evening when dusks comes? The birds have much to teach us. Our readings are about living to our fullest potential. We live to our fullest potential when we are grateful at the beginning of the day and when the day ends.
In our first reading St. Paul is in prison, and is writing to his good friend Timothy. Timothy has been having a very difficult time leading a church, and one of the reasons may be because he is very young. Paul tells Timothy to reach your fullest potential stir into a flame the gift of faith that has been given to you. Paul wants his friend to succeed and gives him good advice of what to do in the morning and in the evening.
In our Gospel, Jesus has just described the sanctity of marriage as a special relationship. Marriage needs to work to its fullest potential because it is a reflection of the Trinity. Jesus is saying do not be misled; marriage is sacred to even death. Those of you who are married, try harder because the other person is worth it. Married people should give thanks together in the morning and in the evening.
How are we going to live to our fullest potential today? We do this by giving God thanks in the beginning of our day for all that God will do. We claim that God will act, this keeps us attentive to God. At the end of our day we look back and see how God did act, and we give thanks. The birds have it right by singing so beautiful each morning and night, may we do the same.
Tuesday of the Ninth Week of Ordinary Time
II Peter 3:12-15, 17-18
I have been asked by the eighth graders to give the commencement speech tonight at graduation. I said yes, but I am terrified! I have always wondered what I would say if I were ever asked because I think it is the hardest speech to give. I am terrified. A good commencement speech should include things like never give up, follow your dreams, go out and change the world. How many times and in how many ways can this be said? Our readings speak like a very good commencement speech maybe we should tune ourselves in.
In our first reading, Peter gives a great commencement speech as he says, “Wait on the Lord, be found without a blemish of sin and be on guard not to be led astray, but always grow in grace.”
In our Gospel, Jesus gives the shortest but best commencement speech of all time. The chief priests and scribes asked Jesus, “Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not? If Jesus says, yes, then he has betrayed the Jewish people, if Jesus says, no, then he has offended the Roman government. Jesus asks, “Whose image is on the coin?” “Caesar” they respond. He tells them to “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar – and to God, what belongs to God.” Give to God what is God’s because God’s DNA is all through us.
Now that is a pretty good commencement speech, now get out there and change the world in the name of Jesus Christ. Never give up because Jesus Christ is on our side. Have dreams but allow God into those dreams so he will full fill them.