To be Christ, we need to know Christ.

Friday of the 25th Week

Ecclesiastes 3:1-11

Luke 9:18-22

 

Turning to Fr. Mike, say, “Who is this?”

“What do you know about Fr. Mike?”

If you wanted to be like Fr. Mike, what would you do?

 

In our Gospel, Jesus asks them, “Who am I?” Peter steps forward and says, “You are the Christ.” Peter gives a good answer, but Jesus wants something more. What is he asking is “What do you know about me? What do I mean to you? Are you willing to serve me in all things?” If you are, then you too must learn to die to yourself and turn to me.

 

Pointing to the crucifix ask, “Who is this?”

“What do you know about Jesus?”

If you wanted to be like Jesus what would you do?

 

We are called to “Be Christ!” It is our theme for this year, which means we need to know about him. We can learn a lot about Christ by being in our Catholic School.

 

The Eucharist is given to us to give us the grace to go forth and to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.

 

 

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Be great! Be a servant of God!

 

Twenty-Fifth Sunday Ordinary Time

Wisdom 2:12, 17-20

James 3:16-4:3

Mark 9:30-37

 

Have a stack of my new business cards and give them out to people.

 

I have my new business card, and I am so glad that I have them because they tell me who I am. The card reads, “Fr. Mark Peacock, Pastor, of Holy Spirit Parish.” Because I am the pastor, I know that a whole lot of power and possible greatness can come from being a pastor, but I do not want to assume anything at this point. My idea of being a good pastor is knowing you and loving you and trusting that you will do great things in Christ. In return, I would hope that you would learn to love me and to trust me. This kind of leadership takes time, but I am thoroughly committed to it. Our readings today are about knowing who we are in Christ and to use the power that all of us have to the greater glory of God. 

 

In our Gospel, Jesus is walking with his disciples, and he has been telling them that he must suffer, die and rise from the dead. As he is sharing with them, he can hear them arguing and talking about which one of them is the greatest.  When they stop he asks them, “What have you been arguing about?” Notice, none of them speak up, and not even Peter. Jesus sits down; this is significant because he is switching to be a teacher, rabbis would teach while they were sitting down. He tells them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and the servant of all.”

 

Let’s face it, this saying is hard for us even today, because this is not what one would do to get ahead, you do not go to the back of the line; you will be left behind. We need to look at the one who is saying it. Jesus was no pushover he was not milquetoast. Jesus spoke up to the authorities, he spoke about injustice, and he emptied the temple. The attitude of a good leader is one who knows who they are in Christ. The way to discipleship is not about seeking personal greatness, but about seeking to be a servant in the name of Jesus Christ. The way of discipleship is not seeking power over others, but accepting servanthood and giving up power for the sake of others. It is about finding our strength in Jesus Christ. To drive home the point, he brings a small child to himself he says, “Whoever receives one like a child, will become the greatest.”

 

We are still going to have challenges as from the Book of Wisdom, the writer tells us very clearly, there will be people who look at us when we live this way and call us foolish, but we must go on.

 

In our second reading from James, the writer tells us “Where jealousy and self-ambition exist there is disorder.” The writer continues by encouraging us to seek the wisdom of God and never give up.

 

May we learn the message of the Good News of Jesus Christ that has been given to us in this Holy Eucharist and that is to be a good leader by being a good servant to others?

To be forgiven!

Thursday Twenty – Fourth Week Ordinary Time

St. Andrew Kim & Martyr, St. Paul and companions

I Corinthians 15; 1-11

Luke 7: 36-50

 

 

 

I thought that Bishop Walkowiak gave an incredible homily last night during the Holy Hour for the healing of survivors of sexual abuse, reparation for the sins of the clergy, and the restoration of hope for the Catholic Church. He spoke prophetically about the abuse, and he spoke well about forgiveness.

 

In our first reading, St. Paul is confessing because he persecuted Christians, there was nothing he did to deserve God’s love and forgiveness, but when he realized the love and forgiveness of God is offered to him, he changed his life and became an apostle for Christ.

 

In our Gospel, Jesus has been invited to the house of Simon a Pharisee. A woman who is a public sinner enters his house; she begins to wash the feet of Jesus with her tears and dry his feet with her hair. Simon says, “Do you see this woman?” Simon says this meaning “Do you see this great sinner?” Jesus responds, “Do you see this woman?” What he means by saying this “Do you see this woman, who is so remorseful of her sins and is not deserving of my forgiveness but I give it to her.

 

Let us who gather be mindful of our need for God’s forgiveness even though we do not deserve it. Let us be mindful that God offers us first, his forgiveness and we are responding out of that great love. May we pray for all those involved in the abuse and the crimes committed against those in the Church? May we learn to forgive and grow in holiness?

 

 

We are the Body of Christ!

Tuesday Twenty – Fourth Week Ordinary Time

I Corinthians 12:12-14, 27-31

Luke 7:11-17

 

Are you one with your spouse today? Are we one with our children today? How are we doing with our neighbors and our co-workers? Our readings today speak about restoring unity in all things.

 

In our first reading, the people of Corinth have all been baptized in Christ making them the Body of Christ, but they are not acting that way. The people are struggling to live in a Christian community as they are arguing amongst themselves of who was the greatest with their gifts and talents. St. Paul tells them that, “The body is one with many different members.” Paul encourages them to be the community of Christ they were called to be.    

 

In our Gospel today, Jesus and his disciples encounter the funeral of an only son of a widowed mother. Because her husband is gone and now her son it is also death for her because she will now need to rely on the generosity of others.

Jesus is moved with pity for the woman even though she is not Jewish. Notice, no-one from the funeral procession calls out to Jesus he goes right up to the funeral procession stops the procession and says to the woman, “Do not weep!” He reaches out his hand to the dead boy, and he tells the boy to get up, and Jesus is moved with pity for the woman.

 

Our readings challenge us today to work for unity in our lives because the Church’s finest hour is when we live in unity. The Eucharist we celebrate will help us by giving us the grace to be one in Christ.

 

Picture me carrying my cross.

Twenty Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Isaiah 50:5-9

 James 2:14-19

 Mark 8:27-35

 

I have this idea for a new magazine called “Holy People,” and I need some pictures of holy people. Take out a cell phone and take a picture of assembly, servers, and self. To make my reporting balanced and not bias, now I need you to call me when your life is a mess when something terrible has happened so I can get a picture of you. I want my reporting to be about holy people being holy through good times and bad. Our readings today are about trusting God in the good times and in the bad. How do we do this in a graceful, faith-filled manner?

 

In our first reading, we hear from this suffering servant. The servant is crying out for someone to take their picture because they have mastered what to do when hard times come. The suffering servant remembers another difficult time in your life and to remember how God helped us through that difficult time. In this reading, there is no indication that God will take away the suffering. The suffering servant is very much aware that God is very present to them in these difficult times and they seem to be strengthened by their suffering.   

 

In our Gospel, we get a snapshot of Peter, but there will be better pictures of Peter. In our story, Jesus asks, “Who do the people say that I am?” Notice all the disciples chime in a let Jesus know what they have heard from the people about who he is. However, when Jesus asks, “Who do you say that I am?” Only Peter is brave enough to step forward and give an answer as he says, “You are the Christ.” Peter gives a great answer, but when Jesus goes on to talk about rejection, suffering, and death, Peter now rebukes Jesus for saying such a thing. Peter’s understanding of Jesus is not much different than our understanding. We like our Christianity to be like sitting in an easy boy recliner. We struggle with our Christianity when we have to carry our cross.   

 

What would a snapshot of us reveal about us today? Are we willing to get off the recliner and accept our sufferings as part of our growth in Jesus Christ trusting that he will lead us through this most difficult time? How often do we in our times of distress say “God who are you?” I believe it is at these times God asks us, “Who do you say that I am?” We have to answer the question because it will determine how we will respond in good times and in bad.

 

We worship a God who doesn’t promise to take away our suffering but promises us to be with us in our time of suffering. In this Eucharist are we able to the give glory and praise to God in all that I do, the things I suffer with and the things I rejoice in?”

 

The cross a sign of God’s great love for us!

 

The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Numbers 21:4-9

Philippians 2:6-11

John 3: 13-17

 

Question: Who are the people that you love? Tell me how do you show them that you love them?

 

Question: Who does God love?
Raise your hands if you think God loves you?

How does God show that he loves us?

 

Today, we celebrate the Exaltation of the Holy Cross and what I find interesting is our gospel says nothing about a cross. I would have guessed that our Gospel would be about the crucifixion. Our message is all about God’s love for us.

 

In our Gospel, Jesus says to Nicodemus, “That God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes may not perish, but have eternal life.  What we celebrate today is the most powerful act of love ever demonstrated here on earth.  The body that hangs on the cross changes the cross from a sign of death to the ultimate sign of God’s great love for us. The cross is our sign of life.

 

As we celebrate the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, we need to know that Christ died on the cross for all of our sufferings and sorrows. We need to take notices of all the crosses we see and know that Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price for us and he shows us his unconditional love. May we want to share this love today!  

 

Are we really able to do all of this?

 

Thursday Twenty Third Week of Ordinary Time

I Corinthians 8:1-7, 11-13

Luke 6:27-38

St. John Chrysostom

 

Our readings today go together like peanut butter and jelly, like Oreo cookies and milk, an anything wrapped in bacon. It would be good to spend more time today meditating upon our readings.

 

In our first reading St. Paul is letting us know that we are responsible for the welfare and the good of those entrusted to our care. Husband and wives, you are responsible for not only your salvation but your spouse’s salvation.

 

In our Gospel, Jesus begins by saying, “To you who hear I say.” Since all of us can hear, then we need to listen to what Jesus has to say. He goes on to say, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse us, and turn your other cheek to those who strike us.” Jesus brings it all home by saying, “Even sinners are good for other sinners.”

 

How are we to do this? We are always to be discerning the will of God in our lives. Where is God leading us? How is God caring for us? Living in Christ means redefining how we live and how we view the world. We do not live for ourselves, but for others. Jesus did not die on the cross because he wanted to have a good time; he died on the cross to take all of our sufferings. We live this way by knowing and trusting in God’s grace and that God is in control. We do this by praying by name those who do not like us. We do this by receiving the Eucharist as often as we are able. May we live in the manner that God is calling us.