We have been chosen!

Friday of the 34th Week

Feast f St. Andrew

Romans 10:9-18

Matthew 4:18-22

All school Mass

 

Pick a student and whisper this message to them:

How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!

 

Tell this student: I want you to go and whisper that message to someone else. Continue having the students share this statement with about six or seven students. Ask the last student, “What was the message you were told?

 

How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news?

 

What I like about St. Andrew is when he was chosen to follow Christ, he did, but when he was not chosen to be part of the inner circle with Christ he did not complain. The inner circle of Jesus was Peter, James, and John. Andrew still became an apostle and share what he knew about the good news of Jesus Christ.  

 

What I like about what Jesus did was not say to Andrew, “Come back when you have your whole life together?” Jesus invites all of them and uses them to spread the good news one person at a time.

 

The sharing of the Good News of Jesus Christ in the time of Jesus began in the same way with one person telling another person what they knew about Jesus. We are called to spread what we know about Jesus Christ one person at a time with all of our strengths and all of our challenges. A call to be a disciple of Jesus is always about treating people with respect and as a person created in the image and likeness of God. May we be good disciples of Jesus Christ this day?  

 

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What are we to do?

 

Thursday Thirty-Fourth Week Ordinary Time

Revelation 18:1-2, 21-23; 19:1-3, 9

Luke 21: 20-28

 

Our lesson in our readings is a good one as we draw closer to the end of the Church year. In every beginning, there is an ending, and in every ending, there is a beginning. The question for us is, “What do we do in this in-between time of a beginning and an ending, and what do we do when an ending comes?”

 

In our first reading from the Book of Revelation, most scripture scholars understand when the writer refers to Babylon it is a code word for the Roman soldiers and government. The Romans were practicing a wide range of persecutions and punishment on Christians, and the author is reassuring its readings that punishment will come upon Imperial Rome. The key phrase to focus on is the last line, “Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.”

 

Our Gospel predicts the destruction of another city, the city of Jerusalem, which did occur in 70 AD. These words of Jesus would have created great uncertainty to have this great city destroyed, and the temple lay in ruin. The story ends like our first reading with the last line giving us the good news. Jesus tells us, “When these times come to stand up, raise your face, and be ready for your redemption is at hand.”

 

What are we do in the time between a beginning and an ending? Look for Christ, in everything. What are we to do when an ending comes? Celebrate Christ coming into something brand new.

 I am glad that you are reading my morning homily. I hope it helps you through your day. I want you to know that you are always welcomed to worship with us in person. 

Thank you for reading my homily! God is good! 

Faith! Do we have it?

Wednesday Thirty-Fourth Week Ordinary Time

Revelation 15:1-4

Luke 21: 12-19

 

We have perfect readings for us if you are going nuts! The biggest problem in the world is not the economy, feeding the poor or jobs. The biggest problem in the world is our lack of faith, our lack of ability to place our trust in God. How many times when confronted do we doubt and fear the worst? 

 

In our first reading from the book of revelation, one of the greatest fears known to man at this time was traveling on the sea. There were storms, sea monsters, and getting caught out on the sea at night. The writer John uses this image of the sea being calm and hard so that the just who have faith will stand on this hard surface over the sea and will preserve.

 

After the death of Jesus and following there is no other time in the history of the world was it so hard to believe in Jesus Christ. To be a follower of Christ would mean everything that Jesus tells them to have faith and believe in him. The believers of this time would suffer hardship they could be disowned by family members, there would be persecution, and they would be seen as being outside of the children of God. To believe in Jesus was a big risk and yet there were those who believe so strongly that we are here today professing the same faith.

 

The Eucharist is our solid ground so may we may walk by faith and not by sight! 

 

 

 

What evidence will we give?

Tuesday Thirty-Fourth Week Ordinary Time

Revelation 14:14-19

Luke 21: 5-11

 

NASA InSight Lander has landed successfully on Mars after traveling through space for seven months. We will now have physical evidence of the interior properties of Mars. As we draw closer to another end of the Church year what physical evidence do we have that we are on the right path to God?

 

In our first reading from the book of Revelation, we are given the signs we need for what will happen at the end of times. The righteous will be taken up to heaven like grains of wheat are harvested from the fields. The unrighteous will be gathered like grapes at harvest times and crushed.

 

In the time of our Gospel, there would be many buildings made from bricks that were handmade about the size of bricks that we all know. The temple had bricks that were quarried from the surrounding land that was massive size. It was truly a wonder of the world at this time how the temple was built. As the disciples were marveling at the temple, Jesus tells them that not one stone will be left upon another. Of course the disciples respond, “Give is evidence of when this is going to happen?” Jesus is giving them the evidence they need as he is the new temple.  

 

As we approach the end of the Church year and look forward to Advent, it would be good to take stock in how we are doing in our faith life. What evidence will we give that we are followers of Jesus Christ? How are our prayer life and our works of mercy? 

 

This Eucharist we share in is a foretaste of the heavenly banquet.

 

The Kingdom of Truth!

Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

Daniel 7:13-14

Revelation 1:5-8

John 18:33-37

Picture of Jesus before Pilate goes up on the screens!

The kingdom we profess today as Jesus Christ King of the Universe is this picture of Jesus before Pilate. We do not speak much of kingdoms, but today we do. Every time we pray the Our Father we say, “Our Father, who art in heaven hallow is thy name. Thy kingdom comes, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Today we should ask ourselves, “Is this the kingdom we want in our life?” Point to the screens! What we celebrate today is a God who invites us into this kingdom.

 

In our Gospel, Jesus stands before Pilate. There is something we should know about Pilate; he dislikes everything about Jesus. Pilate’s world is about competition with other rulers, he fears everyone, and he wants to prove to the known world how powerful he is. He wants this so badly because he feels he has been snubbed ruling over the territory of Palestine. Pilate lives in a world of fine cloths, fine foods, status, and power. When Jesus is brought before him, he is furious and wants nothing to do with Jesus. Pilate’s only concerned is knowing if Jesus is a threat to his power. Pilate asks him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answers, “You say that I am a king. I came into the world to testify to the truth, and my followers belong to the truth and listen to my voice.” It is here that Pilate begins to know that there is nothing he can do to have Jesus change his mind about who is he and Pilate fears Jesus and wants him out of his sight. 

 

The Kingdom of Truth God that Jesus is talking about is not a kingdom to be found out there because it is in our hearts. There is no room for sin in the Kingdom of Truth. The Kingdom of Truth is to know that love reigns, it is the strongest power in the entire world. Are we ready to enter this kingdom by being more loving, more understanding, more patient, more forgiving? The Kingdom of God is for those who are willing to accept this challenge. May we mean what we will proclaim in the Our Father ‘thy kingdom come.’

 

We give thanks and live in gratitude!

Thanksgiving Day

Sirach 50:22-24

I Corinthians 1: 3-9

Luke 17: 11 – 19

 

I want to begin this homily by asking a question, and I am hoping I get some brave people to respond. On this day of Thanksgiving, we give thanks to God for our many blessings.

 

Who would like to share what they are thankful for in their life?

 

In our Gospel Jesus encounters ten lepers. They all cry out, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” They all receive the same blessing of being healed but only one returned to express his thankfulness, and for this, he wins his eternal reward. 

 

The word “Eucharist” means to be thankful. The Church in her great wisdom offers us time each day to come and give thanks. We open the doors to all people, and we welcome them because once they walk through our doors we are all family. We set the table of the Lord with holy care, and we dress in proper attire. We offer prayers and hear readings that give us the direction and the hope to get through this day. We as Catholic are blessed to have the Eucharist in our lives because it offers us the right order for eternal life.

 

My friends in Christ, here are the challenge of this day of thanksgiving. It is a day to give thanks for our many blessings, but we also give thanks for all those things that challenge us today. Our challenges are where God is working in our lives now; our blessings are the result of challenges.

 

May we truly give thanks to God for all he has done, all he is doing, and all he will do.

What are the questions?

Thirty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time

Daniel 12:1-3

Hebrews 10:11-14, 18

Mark 13:24-32

 

We are great at, asking questions! When are we going to church? What time is Thanksgiving dinner? When is this guy going to be done talking? Our lives are filled with “when” and “what” questions. Answers to these questions help keep our lives on the course and give us a sense of control. As we gather today, I believe there are better questions that can be asked and our readings will give us those questions.  

 

To help us understand our Gospel we need to go back and look at the whole thirteenth chapter of Mark. In chapter thirteen Jesus and the disciples are in the temple. The Jewish people, even today, hold the temple as the center of their lives. It would be very much like Rome is the center of our Catholic lives. As the disciples and Jesus are leaving the temple, the disciples remark to Jesus how wonderful a building the temple is, as they are admiring the massive stones laid one upon another. Jesus responds to them, “This magnificent building will all be destroyed, and not one stone will be laid upon another.” The disciples ask, “When will these things happen?” Jesus says, “You will know when the sun does not shine and when the stars and the moon stops shining in the night.” The disciples press him further, “When will these things happen?” Jesus says, “I do not know; only the Father knows the day and time.” I would guess hearing Jesus not knowing left the disciples frustrated because they want to know the “when” and the “what.”  

 

We may know the same frustration, when the sun, moon, and stars fail to shine anymore in our lives. When the centers of our lives, our hearts have been taken from us? We may know this through the death of a loved one, a relationship that is broken, or the loss of a job. How do we handle things when we desire answers, and no answer comes? Jesus tells us to ‘learn a lesson from the fig tree.’ What is Jesus referring to? The fig tree is one of the last trees to bud in the spring and so when its leaves are budding we know that summer is just around the corner! The example of the fig tree is to hang in there and have hope and make Jesus the center of our lives!

 

My friends in Christ, when the sun does not shine and the moon and the stars fail to give off their light, what are we to do? Our challenge is not about asking “when” and “what” question, but responding with “how” and “why” questions. The response of Jesus to his disciples and us is the same, “Do not put your trust in a temple that will be destroyed, put your trust in me.” As Catholics we are a sacramental people, each time we celebrate the Eucharist, we celebrate the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. We come to strengthen that when we are not given answers, we are not to lose hope. Let us continue looking for Christ in all things.