Be a superhero for Christ!

 

Thursday of the Fifth week of Ordinary Time

I Kings 11: 4-13

Mark 7:24-30

 

As we continue to celebrate Catholic School Week, it is Super Hero Day, and many of our kids are dressed up as superheroes. In our readings today we have someone who was considered a superhero and no longer is a superhero, and we have someone who was never thought of like a superhero and becomes one.

 

In our first reading we have King Solomon, and all week long we have heard about his greatness and his superhero powers. King Solomon was a superhero because he built the temple, he brought the Ark of the Covenant to the temple, and he amassed a great fortune, and he built a beautiful palace. In our story today he falls from this superhero status because he begins to worship foreign gods and his heart was no longer with the Lord.

 

In our Gospel, Jesus travels to Gentile territory and enters a home where he wanted no one to know where he was staying. A gentile woman approaches him falls at his feet and begs him to heal her daughter. Jesus says, “Why should I throw good food to dogs?” Jesus is speaking to her in a very insulting manner. She speaks with superhero power as she says, “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall on the floor.” Jesus praises a gentile woman for her superhero faith.

 

In our faith, we have many superheroes they are called saints. Saints are those who had come before us and lived lives of great faith, and we aspire to be like them and be holy.

 

Who wants to be a superhero? It will mean being courageous in faith. It will mean being more loving and understanding than ever before, and it will mean being full of mercy! May we all strive to be a superhero for Jesus!

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What is in our heart!

 

Wednesday of the Fifth week of Ordinary Time

I Kings 10: 1-10

Mark 7:14-23

 

Catholic School Week was last week, but because I was gone, we are celebrating it this week. Today is mixed matched clothes day.

 

Take a student was is dressed in the craziest outfit, have them come out into the aisle.

I am announcing that this is our new school uniform for the rest of the year. Our new school uniform will be hard to beat, but what I am more concerned about is what on the inside of our students. Our readings are challenging us to see the importance of looking on the inside so we will know what to do on the outside.

 

In our first reading, the Queen of Sheba has heard about the magnitude of the kingdom of King Solomon. The Queen decides to visit King Solomon, and she is impressed with all the exterior things, the palace, food, uniforms of the attendants and the banquet hall. What the Queen becomes impressed with comes out of King Solomon in his wisdom and answering all her questions. She praises God for granting King Solomon with such great wisdom and how he will lead the people of God.

 

In our Gospel, Jesus hammers home this idea of how important it is to know what is going on inside of us as he says “There is nothing that comes from outside a person that can corrupt a person; only the things that come from inside a person corrupt a person.”

 

Our school children may look a bit peculiar on the outside, but we are more concerned about what is going on in the inside of them. How will we use the wisdom that God has given us to strengthen what is going on inside of us? And how will we look into the hearts of those we will meet today and not judge them? Our job today is to see that everyone around us succeeds.

God is present to us!

 

Tuesday of the Fifth week of Ordinary Time

I Kings 8:22-23, 27-30

Mark 7:1-13

St. Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs

 

 

Did you hear that? Listen! Can you hear it? Now listen this time without your ears but with your heart! What God is trying to do is get us to listen so that his word will sink deep into our hearts and that our lives will be changed. The interesting thing is that with God he is doing his part. It is all up to us how far we want to take the presences of Christ in our lives today. We begin by acknowledging that God is present to us right now in a special way in this Eucharist.

 

In our first reading, King Solomon has built the Temple, and the dedication ceremony has begun. The Ark of the Covenant and all the sacred vessels been brought from the City of David and placed in the Temple. In our story today, we hear the prayer of King Solomon asking God to come down from heaven and reside in the temple and make it holy. What King Solomon is asking is a radically new idea! Do we take it for granted the absolute divine presences of God in our midst?

 

If we say, “yes” to knowing the divine presences of God, then we better take heed and understand the warning of Jesus to the Pharisees and scribes in our gospel story today. Jesus tells the Pharisees and the scribes, “You only pay me lips service, and your hearts are far from me; in vain do you worship me.”

 

Shh! Listen again! Do we hear the voice of God calling us to holiness?

 

 

What will you have to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Everything!

 

Fourth Sunday Ordinary Time

Deuteronomy 18:15-20

I Corinthians 7:32-35

Mark 1: 21-28

 

The Gospel of Mark, is an amazing piece of work because the writer Mark has Jesus in a hurry to carry on the work of his Father. The Gospel of Mark is the shortest and what is important is not so much the words of Jesus but the actions of Jesus. Mark has Jesus doing in 28 sentences what it takes Matthew and Luke five chapters to do. Slowpokes! In our story today we are told that the people were amazed about his preaching, yet we are not told one thing about what Jesus preached about in this story. Jesus wants to make sure his actions speak louder than his words. Jesus wants to answer the question, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?” The simple response of Jesus is “Everything; I want everything to do with you!” Ok, ready, because here we go!

 

How does he get in? There is no reason for a man who is screaming and yelling to be allowed into the synagogue. Surely, someone would have stopped him and politely or physically escorted him out. If someone came screaming and yelling right now into the church, I would hope that someone would stop him before he got up here to me. Here is how I think the possessed man gets in. There are two parts to the man; there is the evil part that fears Jesus and wants nothing to do with Jesus. This evil side of the man cries out in fear, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, you are the Holy One of God!”

There is also a good part, and this part welcomes Jesus and wants Jesus into his life. The good side of the man says, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I hope so, because I know who you are, and because you are the Holy One of God I want you to get rid of this part of myself so I can and give everything to you.”

 

We have to answer the question of, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?” How many of us came kicking and screaming to church today? How many came thinking just be quiet so we can get this over with, I have other things to do? Our evil side says, “I like to drink excessively, I like to look at porn, and I like to lie, cheat, and gossip. What we need to realize is our evil side, when feeling afraid, or in doubt will always come and tell us we need these evil things to make us feel better. We need to train ourselves to listen to our good side that says, “Lord, I give you everything, and I trust that when I stop doing these evil things, I will know peace, joy, and happiness.”

 

As we gather we need to answer the question, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, you are the Holy One of God!” May we hear Jesus say to us, “Quiet! Come out!”

Our tough times as a blessing!

 

Friday of the Third Week of Ordinary Time

St. Timothy & Titus

II Timothy 1:1-8

Mark 4: 21-25

Things are tough with the flu bug going around. Yesterday, we had seven staff people out and over 20 kids. Our principal went home sick, and last night he could not get enough subs to have school today. Our readings know about tough times and give us words of encouragement.

 

Timothy and Titus who we celebrate today knew plenty about tough times. Paul sends Timothy to Ephesus to be a Bishop and tells Timothy the people there are like a beast. Timothy would be made fun and ridiculed because he was so young. Titus was sent to Crete, and the people there were known as liars, lazy and glutens. Timothy and Titus knew of tough times. Paul sends these men because things were a mess in these sites and Paul trusted them to get the job done.

 

In our first reading, St. Paul writes to Timothy and tells him he remembers his tears. Paul adds words of great courage when he says, “Timothy, I want you to stir into a flame the gift of God that is already in his heart.”

 

In our Gospel, we hear about tough times as a man labors all day scattering seed all over his land and when he is tired he sleeps at night and the seeds sprouts and grows. The man does not know how it grows, it just grows.

 

My friends in Christ if we are facing tough times, thank Jesus, because our God is here to help us and we do not know how he will help us. God promises us that he will see us through tough times. Our Eucharist is here to remind us of that fact.

 

Carry the light of Christ!

Thursday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

Conversion of St. Paul

Acts 9:1-22

Mark 16: 15-18

 

 

There are three things at a baptism that are done to symbolize the person’s new life in Christ. Can you tell me what the three parts are? 1.) There is the pouring of water over the person’s head. 2.) There is the putting on of the white garment. 3.) There is the giving of a candle which symbolizes the light of Christ to the Godparent. (Light the baptismal candle and ask for someone to hold it.)

 

In our first reading, we heard the story of the conversion of St. Paul. Before he was St. Paul, he was Saul, a Roman soldier who disliked all Christians. Saul went around persecuting and killing anyone who professed to believe in Christ. You could say that Saul was a light destroyer as he tried as hard as he could to distinguish the light. (Blow out the light.)

 

On his way to the city of Damascus to persecute Christians, a bright light shone in the sky, and he fell to the ground, and he heard, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” Saul fell to the ground, and when he got up, he could no longer see for he was blind. He needed to be led into the city. Ananias was sent to visit him, and when Ananias arrives, Saul regained his sight. Saul now becomes Paul, and now Paul becomes a believer in Christ, and he becomes not a distinguisher of the light but a bearer of the light and a follower of Jesus Christ. (Re-light the candle.)

 

Today we need to have the light of Christ burning within us, even on this cloudy day. Jesus tells his disciples, “Go into the whole world and be the light of Christ.”

 

We come to Mass today to be renewed in Christ to keep our light burning brightly. I leave you with one thought, “How can we be the light of Christ today?”

 

 

Do we not understand?

 

Wednesday of the Third week

of Ordinary Time

St. Francis de Sales

II Samuel 7: 4-17

Mark 4:1- 20

 

What do we not understand?

 

In our first reading, King David and the prophet Nathan have plans to build a beautiful temple for God. God comes to them and says, “Do you not understand that I have other plans?”

 

What do we not understand about the parable of the “Sower and the seeds?” What we do understand is that God is the sower and we are one of the four types of soil. We have been told this for so long we believe it, but parables have multiple understandings, and today I want to present a new understanding.

 

Do we understand ourselves as the sower? I say this because all our lives we are sowing seeds. We sow seeds of love, peace, hope, joy, forgiveness, mercy and the list goes on and on. Has someone ever come to you and said, “I remember when you said or did, and it was just what I needed at the time. This is evidence that we a sower.

 

Do we not understand the role of the sower is to sow seeds that does not change? The only thing that changes in the parable is the soil. The role of the sower is to throw the seed in abundance on all the types of soil; the sower is not to discriminate on where the seeds are thrown.

 

Do we not understand that the sower is not concerned about the harvest, this is not their role? The role of the sower is only to sow enough seeds.

 

Do we not understand that the sower is not concerned about running out of seeds, there will always be enough seeds!

 

Do we not understand that we are the sower and our role is just to sow the seeds?