Sunday, August 1, 2021

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time


“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.” John 6: 35

In today’s Gospel, we hear Jesus proclaimed as the “Bread of Life” for all who hunger and thirst.  We are often left wanting for more when we put all our hopes in the world’s ability to take away our hunger and satisfy our thirst. For those who are searching for more than what the world offers, Jesus reminds us that it is God who wants to satisfy the longings and hunger of the human heart.

In the homily I heard this morning the priest used a quote from Pierre Teilhard Chardin, “The future belongs to those who give the next generation reason for hope.”  When I heard this quote, it caused me to pause and think. Our world is suffering greatly between natural disasters, the resurgence of the Covid virus due to the Delta variant, the flood of migrants at our southern border, and violence in our streets.  Where can we find hope in these times?  I believe our hope lies in our Gospel reading today.  Our loving God wants to feed both our spiritual and physical hunger.  God rains down bread from Heaven to feed the people’s physical hunger and Jesus teaches them about how God wants to satisfy the desires of our hearts.

We are transformed through the Eucharist.  Each time we receive the Eucharist our spiritual hunger is satisfied.  May we always seek the Lord who desires to feed us.

God’s grace transforms us through the Eucharist. We are invited to reflect during this week about our spiritual hunger and thirst and seek out the Lord who always feeds us.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

In today’s Gospel we hear the familiar story of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes.  John tells us the story of a mighty God who can do anything. God cannot fail.  One who takes the impossible and makes it possible.  In today’s Gospel passage of the feeding of the five thousand and the multiplication of the loaves and fish, we see that God blesses us abundantly in ways that we can only imagine.

One of the things that stands out for me in this passage is that fact that the young boy was willing to share his food without reservation.  This boy was willing and helped to provide for many.  The disciples were anxious, but Jesus had the matter well in hand. As Jesus made the five barley loaves and two fish more than enough to feed more than five thousand people, Jesus promises to provide for our needs. When we give our all to God, God can transform what we think is too small into that which can satisfy our hunger and thirst.  Our worries, our weakness, and our humanness are all transformed by the mighty hand of God.  Let us never be afraid to share our seemingly simple gifts with others as our loving God will transform them into great things.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time


The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat.  So, they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place.  People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them. When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.  Mark 6: 30 – 34

In the book of the Prophet Isaiah we read, “Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call to Him while He is near.”  We are all called to seek the Lord, to turn our focus to Him, and follow Him and dedicate ourselves as His faithful disciples, and remember the love with which He has patiently guided us, and nurtured us all with generous love and dedication. As we heard in our Scripture passages today, the Lord has always loved us and showed us His kindness.

In today’s Gospel, we read the report of the return of the Twelve, who were sent by Jesus to preach repentance, heal the sick, and drive out demons. When the Twelve return, he invites them to come away from the crowds and rest. But the crowds will not give them peace. The crowds continue to approach them, and Mark reports that the disciples don’t even have time to eat. To get away, Jesus and his disciples board a boat in hopes of finding a deserted place. But the crowds notice this and follow. The crowds are so persistent that Jesus and his disciples cannot find a place to be alone. Mark’s Gospel tells us that Jesus is moved with pity and begins to teach the crowds.

We who are Jesus’ disciples today have also been sent to share the Gospel with others. Perhaps our commitment to following Jesus as his disciple leaves us feeling tired and overwhelmed. In today’s Gospel, we hear Jesus affirm the importance of times of rest and renewal. Jesus wanted his disciples to come away and spend time alone with him. Let us remember to take time to rest so that we may be reenergized to follow Jesus’ call.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time


Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits.  He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick— no food, no sack, no money in their belts.  They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic.  He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave.  Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.”   So they went off and preached repentance.  The Twelve drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

If we are to be effective disciples of Christ, we must stay the course, trust the process, and follow all directives so that we, too, can be a healing presence in our world, as the first disciples were. Regardless of how irrational or illogical the facts may seem, the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit will always lead us home, wherever and whatever that may be. Thy will be done.  Mark 6: 7 -13

In today’s readings, we encounter Amos, who was called for a special purpose. Amos describes himself as a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores before the Lord instructed him to prophecy to the people of Israel.  In the second reading, St. Paul tells us that God the Father has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens; God chose us before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blemish.  The gospel reading shows that purpose in action as Jesus summons the twelve disciples and sends them out.

What are we called to?  Jesus gives us the instructions on what to take on the journey and promises to be with us always.  We have been commissioned by Jesus to spread the good news and to serve the needs of others.  Our world is deeply in need of healing and peace and we are called to do all we can to foster a world full of love and peace.

The readings this Sunday call each of us to listen, discern, and heed the way God is calling us individually. What will you do to answer that call?

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Happy 4th of July


The 4th of July (also known as Independence Day) is an American holiday celebrated on July 4th annually.  “Why do we celebrate the 4th of July? What does it mean?” Well, this day is incredibly significant in American history, as it marks the day the United States officially became its own nation. The Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4th, 1776—and thus, America was born. American citizens celebrate America’s birthday with festivals, parades, fireworks, barbecues, fireworks, sparklers, and other festive activities.

Many modern Independence Day traditions stem from America’s early independence celebrations. People would attend bonfires, concerts, and parades to celebrate their new nation. It was also common for the Declaration of Independence to be read aloud, followed by muskets and cannons firing. It’s safe to say the earliest Americans celebrated the 4th of July loudly and proudly.

The 4th of July is a holiday Americans hold near and dear to their hearts. It marks the day America became the country it is today—a country where people have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. On this day, we remember the United States’ fight for freedom and celebrate our country with friends, family, food, and fun. Happy birthday, USA!

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Do Not Be Afraid


Today’s gospel comprises two distinct stories with no particular connection between them.  First, we have the raising of Jairus’s daughter to life and the second is the healing of the woman with the hemorrhage.  There are two miracle stories in this long extract from Mark and they demonstrate an important theme and characteristic of this gospel. The first thing we notice is that the story of the raising of the daughter of Jairus begins the sequence, but then is cut off as we consider the woman with the hemorrhage.  It quickly becomes apparent that the overarching theme is the need for faith. In the story of the woman, her willingness to trust in Jesus is total but by contrast the people in the house of Jairus laugh at him when he suggests the child is only asleep. Jesus tells the woman who touched him that her faith made her well, and to the people announcing the news of the death of the little girl he says: ‘Do not be afraid, only have faith.’ We have only already learned through the preaching of Jesus and his parables that the kingdom is present in his ministry and that it is both a gift and a challenge. Living by faith is the challenge but it is also the way to healing and new life for those who embrace the message with trust and confidence.

Someone once wrote to the poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins, asking how he could come to know God. Hopkins wrote back with the simple answer: ‘Give alms.’ The God who wills us to live eternally cannot be known in theory or theology — he can only be truly known through love. That is our calling as Christians.' If we understand that we have been made rich through the poverty of Jesus, then we cannot but reach out to others.  Let us always reach out in love and allow God’s love to fuel our lives.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Father's Day


Happy Father’s Day!! Let us pray….

Loving and faithful God, as we celebrate Father’s Day, we not only give thanks for our fathers, we ask you to bless them Keep them close to you and to St. Joseph. May Joseph’s example and prayers give them the continued strength to live out their vocation of fatherhood faithfully. Help us never to take them for granted and to be patient with their imperfections.

For our deceased fathers, give them eternal rest.

For our fathers, weighed with burdens, give them peace and hope.

For fathers who have buried a child, give them consolation.

For those who have caused pain for their children, give them a new heart.

For those who wish to be a father but cannot, give them hope.

Loving God hear our prayers and help us to give respect and love to our dads as we lift them to you, through Christ our Lord.  Amen

Happy Father's Day to all fathers, father figures.  May this day be richly blessed!