Today we come to the end of the year, the liturgical year, that is. The last couple of weeks our readings have been talking about the end times, and the second advent- the second and final coming- of Jesus Christ. And so, appropriately on this last Sunday of Ordinary Time, we celebrate Jesus Christ our Lord and King. This is such an important feast, but one that is hardly understood or lived out today in our culture. Our readings today are so inspiring, so let us begin our reflection of them so that we can come to know, appreciate, and love God anew through them.READ MORE
We are drawing this liturgical season to the end before we start anew with Advent in 3 weeks. And so, our readings are apocalyptic, they are about the end times. They are about the final coming of the Lord Jesus, and the consummation of all things. And so, we are asked to reflect on these dark, but still illuminating matters.
Our 2nd reading is from the first letter St. Paul to the Thessalonians. It is the earliest letters of New Testament, written about the year 50, about 20 years before the first Gospel. Paul is writing about the one event which changed his life. Paul encountered the Risen Jesus and the realization of that truth of Jesus Christ changed his life. It revolutionized his thinking, his acting, his very being.READ MORE
Jesus in our Gospel today gives us what should be the foundation of our lives- what our entire lives should be consumed about.
Trying to trip Jesus up, a scholar of the law asked which commandment of all the laws of Moses is the greatest? When you and I think of the commandments we probably think of the 10- right. At least I hope we think of the commandments. But for the Jews, in the Torah- which are the first 5 books of the Bible, Moses gave 613 laws. The Jewish people had 613 laws and restrictions that they were to live by in order to be good Jews. Things like not eating unclean animals, refraining from any kind of work on the sabbath, etc. The 10 commandments we know of from Exodus 20 are just 10 of the 613. So, this scholar is asking, which of all 613 is the greatest?READ MORE
Think for a moment about a wedding- perhaps you think of your own wedding, or the last wedding you went to. What do you think about? Is it the genuine love and excitement of the couple- the bride in her beautiful white dress and the groom in a nice tuxedo. Perhaps you think about the vows in which the man and woman promise to love and honor each other, through good times and bad, for the rest of their lives. Through which the couple are forever united to each other, where they vow to give themselves- body and soul- out of love to each other. The 2 become 1- what an amazing thing that happens at weddings.
In our Gospel, Jesus gives a parable in which a king plans a wedding for his son, and all the invitations were sent out. Can you imagine receiving an invitation to the wedding of the king’s own son- what a royal and grand event it would be. The best invitation, from the highest person imaginable, to the greatest event. Wouldn’t you be so honored that you were invited that you’d RSVP ‘yes’ right away? Wouldn’t you drop anything else you had planned that day, and no matter what happened you would go to this amazing event?READ MORE
Our God is a God of love. The all-powerful, all-knowing, Creator of the world; the Creator of you and I. Our loving God has revealed Himself to us as our Father, and we are His beloved children. Our God has made each one of us with such intentional purpose and love, and has a great plan for each and every one of our lives. God has revealed his ways to us, in the Scriptures, through the Church, and in our own prayer, God has revealed how he wants us to live, He has revealed his will for us. So, God has revealed his ways to us and has sent His Son to become human and redeem us from the waywardness of our sin. My brothers and sister, our God, of unfathomable love, has done and continues to do everything He can to welcome us into right relationship with Him. He says to us in our 1st reading: “You say, ’The Lord’s way is not fair’”. Keeping in mind who the Lord is, the all-knowing and all-loving Creator and Father; isn’t it right and true for Him to say to us, “Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair?”READ MORE
If you were a part of the parish a few year ago, I encouraged you to read Forming Intentional Disciples- which I again encourage you to read or re-read. That book helps to describe who an intentional disciple is, and thus what the Church and this parish is all about. So, it is time for a status check. How many of you would say you have grown into an intentional disciple of Jesus Christ? Nowadays, I think the word ‘disciple’ has come to mean anyone who goes to Church on a somewhat regular basis and tries to be a good and virtuous person. The Scriptures, however, reveal a more elevated description of a disciple. Remember that Jesus called Peter, James, John and all the disciples, to leave everything behind and follow Him. Obviously, today, not everyone is called, to abandon everything they know, to leave their father and mother to follow and serve Christ unreservedly, though some still are. However, all of us, to a certain extent, are called to live not for ourselves but to serve God and others. This is abandoning our will and seeking the will of God, and to be willing to do God’s will, no matter the cost, is discipleship.READ MORE
Last week we heard Jesus give Simon the new name, “Rock” and identify Peter as a leader because of his faith and true confession in his belief that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Jesus told Peter that He will build His Church upon him, and that His Church will not be destroyed but will last forever. In the Scripture passage we will see Jesus Christ establish a Church that will not be destroyed but will last for all eternity- Doesn’t this sound good? - how would you like to be a part of that Church?READ MORE
St. Peter and Jesus went golfing. They were on a 300 yard par 3 hole. The green was surrounded by water. Jesus took out an 8 iron to hit with. Peter said to Jesus, are you sure you’re going to be able to reach the green with that club? Jesus said he saw Jack Nicklaus use an 8 iron on that hole and reach the green so he could do it too. Jesus swung and splash, the ball drops in the middle of the water. So Jesus took out another ball to hit again. Peter said, don’t you think you should use a club that will give you more distance? Jesus said if Jack Nicklaus can reach the green with an 8 iron I can too. Jesus swung and splash, the ball lands in the water. So Jesus walks down the fairway, walks on top of the water and onto the green to putt. Now a foursome of golfers behind Jesus and Peter witnessed everything. One of them said to Peter, Who does he think he is, Jesus Christ? Peter said no, He thinks he’s Jack Nicklaus.READ MORE
I have come to preach at all the Masses this weekend because I want to invite the entire parish to be a part of something very important. But before I share what that is (isn’t anticipation wonderful), let me first use our readings today to help give reason for its importance. Let’s start with our Gospel and explain who this Canaanite woman is and the interaction with Jesus and the disciples to her. Unfortunately, I won’t have time, in this homily, go into depth about what Jesus says to her, but I will be able to make a few points.READ MORE
Today’s readings are about recognizing God’s presence and then hearing and obeying His voice in our lives. I will start out with our amazing 1st reading before applying it, with the Gospel, to our lives.
Our 1st reading is from 1st Kings about the great Prophet Elijah. The context of this 1st reading is important. Earlier in 1st Kings, in one of my favorite stories of the Old Testament, Elijah challenged all the prophets of the false-god Baal- they all prayed and danced to have Baal send fire to consume the sacrifice; but after a whole day of pleading before Baal, their prayers were not answered. And even though Elijah’s sacrifice was drenched in water, at once, the Lord God sent fire to consume it. Thus, God proved that He is the Lord and Elijah defeated and killed all the false-prophets. Naturally, the wicked Queen Jezebel was angry and she set out to kill Elijah, and so he fled from her.READ MORE
Because this Sunday is Aug 6, we are interrupting the Sundays of Ordinary Time to celebrate the Transfiguration of Jesus as witnessed by the inner circle of Disciples- Peter, James, and John.
Imagine yourself sitting down and talking to somebody who is an atheist or does not have any faith, perhaps he/she is a family member or a co-worker. And the person genuinely asks you who God is- how would you answer? Maybe you’d answer- well God is the all-powerful creator of the world, and there is one God but 3 persons. Understandably, they have a puzzled look on their face trying to understand what you just said. Not fully understanding, they go on and say all they know about Jesus Christ is that He was a good man who lived a long time ago who taught a good moral code- how to be a good person, but then they ask if there is more to Jesus than just that? What would you say? Would you do your best to explain that He is the Messiah, or the Savior? Let’s say you answer that Jesus is the only Son of God. What if they ask you how do you know these things that God is 3 in 1 or who Jesus really is? And you say- well the Bible says so. Hoping that will be enough of an answer to satisfy them so you can leave the conversation, but no- they really want to know. They ask- can you show me where in the bible you find these things? Of course you would have your bible right there with you, right… at least on your phone? So there you are, racking your brain, you know it is somewhere in the Gospels, but where and which Gospel does it talk about God being 3 in 1, or Jesus being the Son of God? You’re hoping and praying for a quick inspiration from God, then suddenly you remembered this homily on the Transfiguration- relieved- to say to yourself- whew, thank you Fr. Chad!READ MORE