Last week, Matt wrote about the sanctity and dignity of what we are doing at Mass and how our participation with our bodies and souls should reflect that. In every Mass, Heaven and Earth touch — the eternal Mass in Heaven comes down so that we on earth join the Angels and Saints worshiping God in Heaven. Today, I want to bring up what some think is an important issue, while others don’t really think about it — how we dress at Mass.
A few years before I entered Seminary, I worked in a credit card call center. I was in a big building, full of individual cubicles, sitting in a chair talking to people over the phone for 8 hours a day. As someone who stutters, this was my least favorite job I’ve had — I still remember how I counted the minutes until my next break and dreaded going back to work after them. Another thing I did not like about this job was that I had to wear dress pants with dress shoes, a button-down shirt, and a tie every day. When I started there, I asked myself, “why do they make us dress up just to talk to people over the phone? Couldn’t we all do the job, perhaps enjoy it more, if we were in more comfortable clothes?”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
Did you know that as we celebrate Mass, it is also happening in heaven? Jesus, the High Priest, presides over the heavenly Mass, surrounded by the heavenly hosts. In the book of Revelation, John gives an account of the heavenly Mass which consists of reading from the scrolls (Liturgy of the Word), the singing of hymns, and the breaking of bread (Liturgy of the Eucharist). In the Mass, the priest references the heavenly Mass just prior to the “Sanctus” (Holy, Holy) when he says, “And so, with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominions, and with all the hosts and Powers of heaven, we sing the hymn of your glory, as without end we acclaim…” With them…at that moment…now…here!READ MORE
I was 18 years old and my husband was 19 when my uncle, a parish priest in Michigan, married us. Naturally, our parents warned us that we were too young and should wait a few years to marry, however, we knew we were in love, so the wedding went ahead as scheduled. About 24 years later, my dear husband fell ill and was given six months to live. He passed away at the early age of 42. We had just celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary. My whole world turned upside down. I was lost, so I asked God for help. After some reflection and prayer I came to realize why we married so young.
AND SO IT WAS… God's Plan.READ MORE
The Catechism of the Catholic Church – what is it? A book we have on our bookshelf, sitting cold and dusty since we purchased it with good intentions years ago? The seemingly endless rules and regulations that Catholics are beholden to observe? The restrictions that prevent us from living happy lives as masters of our own destiny? The codification of extra stuff Catholics have heaped upon the original teachings of Christ?
Whether you answered yes to any of these questions, or your answer was a resounding “I don’t really know for sure,” or even if you opened it just last night, it may be time to take a new look at the wisdom of the Church as it is captured in this marvelous gift she has given to the world. Indeed, it is a marvelous gift, for within it you will find the mind and life of the Church, which is nothing less than a reflection of the divine mind and life of Christ himself.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
First off, I want to thank all of the Corpus Christi parishioners for their prayers and support towards my summer mission trip to India. I could not have done it without you. I am so blessed to have had this opportunity and grateful for the many lessons I learned while partaking on this journey.
Many people are aware of my passionate devotion to Mother Teresa. It is she who taught me to see the face of Christ in everyone I encounter, especially the poorest of the poor. She has also taught me to always have trust in Jesus which has brought me so much peace in the most difficult moments.
I spent the majority of my trip in Kolkata (Calcutta) which is where Mother Teresa first began her works of service for those suffering in streets. I served daily at Prem Dan (Hindi for "Gift of Love") which is a home for the dying destitute. The patients who are there have been abandoned from hospitals are literally left todie in the streets.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
In this brief series we've been working on two central questions: What was the Reformation? And why did it happen?
In "What Was the Reformation?" I argued that, at its heart, the Reformation was a dispute over the issue of authority. In short, the separation that occurred at that time between Catholic and Protestant was a separation between those who continued to embrace the spiritual authority of the Catholic Church and those who rejected that authority to stand on the authority, ultimately, of their own interpretation of Scripture and the Fathers of the Church.READ MORE
In 1510, the young Augustinian monk Martin Luther was sent to Rome on an errand for his order. He had dreamed all his life of visiting the Eternal City where Saints Peter and Paul had preached and been martyred, where Paul was beheaded and Peter crucified upside down in Nero's circus. He was thrilled at the thought of praying and celebrating Mass in the great churches of Rome.
Instead, as Luther scholar Heiko Oberman writes:
Later he remembered clearly the shock and horror he had felt in Rome upon hearing for the first time in his life flagrant blasphemies uttered in public. He was deeply shocked by the casual mockery of saints and everything he held sacred. He could not laugh when he heard priests joking about the sacrament of the Eucharist. (Luther: Man Between God and the Devil, p. 149)
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
With the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation coming in October of this year, in this series of articles we've been asking two essential questions: First, boiled down to its essence, what was the Reformation? And then second, why did the Reformation happen at that precise moment in the history of Christianity?
In terms of the first question, we've seen that the Reformation was not about the creation of a new religion. Luther, Calvin, Zwingli and the other Reformers never saw themselves as teaching anything other than the Christianity of the Apostles and the early Church.READ MORE