Sunday, May 14, 2017

5th Sunday of Easter Year -A- 2017


If anyone reads this blog I'm sorry I've been so lax in putting up my homilies. I'll try to do better.  Peace 


May the Peace of Christ Reign in our Hearts


The beautiful words “ Do not let your heart be troubled” were meant to encourage the Apostles as they would witness Jesus being arrested tortured and hung on the cross but they were also meant for us.


Fear has always been a part of the human condition.


We are afraid of so many things.
Fear is so prevalent in our society that John Paul II felt it necessary to almost continually remind us not to be afraid.


The very first words he spoke to the world after his election as Pope were simply
“Do not be afraid.”


In the Gospel the Word reminds us that when fear comes upon us
It is important to have faith in God and Faith in Jesus.


we have faith in Jesus then we value what he valued and discard what he didn’t think was important.


Faith in Jesus liberates us from the cares of the world
Faith in Jesus frees from so many fears.


Believing in Jesus sets us free
by showing us what is really important in our lives and by showing us how to get home.


The Gospel also encourages us to have faith in God.
But many of us ask ourselves how can we trust God?
How can our belief in God give us peace and encouragement?


The real question should be how can we not trust God?


If God was willing to send us His only Son to pay the price of our sin and lead us home then doesn’t it follow that God will give us anything we could ever possibly need to come home to him?


Yes Fear is such a part of our world our entire world


The poor fear dying from hunger or sickness and they fear for the future of their children like anyone else.


The poor are often very afraid of the violence which is so sadly commonplace in the lives of refugees and those in desperate need even in our country.


The rich fear not having enough even when some have so much they could never spend  what they have.


The powerful fear that someone will grow more powerful than them.


The influential fear that someone will become more popular and take their place.


Children fear they will be abandoned.


Teenagers fear they won’t fit in or that they are not handsome or beautiful enough.  


Some are so afraid that they even stop eating. Eating disorders are a sad example of just how fearful our society has become.


Young adults fear they won’t find a husband or wife they can share their lives with.


College students fear they won’t find their place in the world


They are afraid they won’t find that special place in our world which is life giving to them and where they can make their contribution.


Young families fear not having enough to give to their children


People starting out in their careers fear that they won’t get that special break they need or that they will screw things up.


As the children get older Mothers and Fathers are so often afraid for them.
Will they be happy ?
Will they have friends ?
Will they do drugs?
Will they find someone to love?
Will we be able to protect them from the struggles of life?


In middle age many people ask themselves is that all there is?
Is this what life was about? They are afraid life pasted them by


In their fifties… people often wonder if they have gone as far as they can go in their careers.


They fear the young smart talented people who are following them..
They wonder if they still have what it takes to make their contribution.


In their sixties and seventies thoughtful people wonder if they have ever really made any difference with their lives.
They often ask, did I do anything at all of value?


As people grow older they fear getting older
They are afraid of aches and pains
They are afraid of sickness
They are afraid that they won’t have enough to retire on
They are so afraid of losing their independence


When people are near death many are afraid to meet God
We pray our whole life thy Kingdom Come but when it does we say not yet.


Yes fear is all around us.
If we let it ….fear can rule our lives.
GOD DOES NOT WANT US TO BE AFRAID
LET ME REPEAT THAT
GOD DOES NOT WANT US TO BE AFRAID


God DOES NOT WANT US TO LIVE IN FEAR.


The Gospel says “Do not let your heart be troubled”


If we allow Jesus to be the way the truth and the life
then we really need very few material possessions
We can even be surprised by how little we really need.


If we base our lives on God’s truth
Then we can look at other people as our brothers and sister and not merciless competitors


If we pattern our lives after Jesus
Then we don’t have to work 60 hour weeks so we can have the wrap around porch and the garage that could fit three third world families  but rather we can play with our kids and never miss one of their games.


If we pattern our lives after Jesus
Then we don’t have to be the most powerful
Remember Jesus saved us by being weak


If we pattern our lives after Jesus
Then we don’t have to fear for our children because we can see that they are held in the loving hands of God


If we pattern our lives after Jesus
Then we don’t have to fear sickness or old age because even these experiences through which almost everyone must pass can make us better people more generous people.


Sometimes older couple grows apart until one of them gets sick and needs the other.
The salvation of many people and many marriages has been found in the challenge of sickness and the necessity of caring for your husband or wife who is ill.


Caring for someone or being cared for changes a person’s heart.


This week let’s meditate on these powerful words


Do not let your hearts be troubled have faith in God and faith in me


God meant what he says. Amen

Sunday, May 07, 2017

4th Sunday of Easter Year A - 2017

Good Shepherd Sunday
(And First Communion)

Boys and Girls
Sheep are beautiful gentle animals
Before the farmers take their wool to make clothes they are big and fluffy and soft.

Sheep never get angry when a wolf or some other animal comes a sheeps only defense is to run away

One thing that sheep are really good at is eating

The love new grass so they keep their head down looking for the next blade to eat and they eat and they eat and they eat.

Sometimes they are so focused on eating that they don’t even see that the flock has moved away and then they become lost. Sheep are always getting lost and the shepherds have to go our and find them.

No Sheep aren’t the smartest animals but they do know who they are and who their shepherd is.
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Every night the Shepherd puts the sheep into a pen or  sheepfold to keep them safe.

Then when morning comes their shepherd would come out and calls their name.

Because Tthey know their name and because they know the voice of their shepherd they will only come out when he calls.
If someone else calls their name will not come out.

Why do the sheep only follow their shepherd?
Because they know the shepherd loves them and they know that he will keep them safe and take them to good pastures.

Boys and Girls we have to ask ourselves who do we listen to?
Who do we trust?
Who do we follow?

Whose voice should we listen too and follow.

We should never follow anyone who is angry or a bully
We should never follow anyone who always thinks about themselves first
We should never follow someone who only cares about money and what people have.
We should never follow anyone who thinks they are better than others.

We need to follow the voice of Jesus, the Good Shepherd.
We need to listen to him.
Jesus loves us
Jesus teaches us how to love, how to forgive, what is right and what is wrong.

Jesus loves us so much he died for our sins like a good shepherd

We should also always listen to the voice of those who care for us.

It’s important to listen to your parents and your grandparents

There is no one in the whole world who loves you more than them.

They love you with your faults they love you when you're good they even love you when you’re bad.

Your family is your family…

Boys and Girls on this day on which you will receive your first communion please make it your plan to listen to always listen voice of Jesus  your Good Shepherd  and to listen to the voices of those who love you.

If you do you will have a good and happy life and that’s what everyone in this Church wants for you.

Amen



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Sunday, April 30, 2017

3rd Sunday of Easter Year - A 2017

And First Communion

Boys and Girls
The two friends and followers of Jesus who were walking on the road to Emmaus were walking the wrong way/

They were walking away from Jerusalem
They were walking away from the Upper room where their friends and apostles were hiding
They were sad and discouraged
They didn’t understand what had happened to Jesus

Jesus loved the two men on the road and he knew they were suffering and confused.
He loved them so very much that he looked for them.

And when he found them he walked with them and listened patiently to their worries and concern

As he explained things He gave them hope and understanding.
He calmed their fears.

And when it was time for Jesus to take another road he didn’t force himself on them he simply pretended that he was going to keep walking but they sensed there was something special about this stranger  they had met on the road and they begged him to stay with them.

Then at supper time. They passed the bread basket to Jesus, back then the bread didn’t come sliced like it does now but people simply took the loaf and tore off a piece.

When Jesus took the bread and tore a piece off for them.
They realized who the stranger was, they knew it was Jesus,
they realized how much he loved them they realized that all was not lost.

And then Jesus vanished we don’t really know where he went

Some say maybe he went to find another disciple in need.

Maybe he went to console another friend / follower who was sad discouraged and confused. We don’t know how many disciples Jesus helped that day.

The lesson that we have to take from this is very important for those who are receiving first communion today and very important for everyone in this Church.

When life gets difficult
When we are afraid or lonely or discouraged
When we’ve made big mistakes or done something bad
or hurt someone we love
Don’t walk the wrong way
Don’t walk away from your friends and family
Don’t walk away from the church.

No matter what has happened to you
No matter what you’ve done.

Jesus loves from the beginning of our existence
He loves us now, and he will always love us no matter what.
Nothing nothing nothing can keep him from loving us nothing.

Boys and girls No matter where life takes you, No matter what you’ve do
you will always find God in the breaking of the bread.

We have a new name for the breaking of the bread we call it Mass.

You will always find God in the Church even if you walk away for a while he will be present in your life

He will try and find ways into your heart
and here in the church and every church he will be waiting for you.

So When you’re sad,, when you’re lonely,
when you’re confused,
when you disappointed

Come to Church / Come to Mass and encourage others to do the same

I promise if you need him you will always find him here.
Amen


Sunday, April 23, 2017

2nd Sunday of Easter Year A - 2017


If there are any parents who have teenagers out there

Or if your child is going to attempt to teach your grandchild how to drive
I have three words of advice for you… “Don’t do it.”

My Dad taught me to drive and it was a sources of constant stress for both of us.

One day he walked into the school office where he was Principal and yelled at the top of his lungs that kid is going to kill me.

Those driving lessons were a stream of don’t do that, look out over there, don’t forget to check the mirror, there’s a stop sign coming up, as I thought to myself yeah it’s three blocks ahead.

Those lessons were difficult for sure. But when the day came and I was going to take the car on my own out for the first time he simply walked over to me at supper put the keys on the table and said “I trust you”

Those were the last words he said before I ventured forth they were the most important and they meant the world to me.

Today’s Gospel relates some of Jesus’ last words to the Apostles before they ventured out to proclaim the Gospel on their own.

When Jesus appeared to the disciples in the upper room where they were hiding he didn’t list or lecture them about their failing,

He didn’t lament  that they had abandoned him he simply said to them.

“As the Father Sent me so I send you. Receive the Holy Spirit whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, whose sins you hold bound are held bound.” He could have said anything.

He could have given them a long list of instructions but he didn’t.
That moment in the upper room was just too important for that

Rather he commissioned the Apostles and those who would follow them to forgive sins, not simply announce God’s forgiveness but to actually to forgive sins.

Those simple words seem to frame up Jesus’ entire mission on earth and the entire mission of the Church to this day.

Jesus came to forgive, He came to reconcile and go give peace and by doing so and by dying on the cross he open the door of salvation for each of us.  

Yes, he healed some people along the way, and worked some miracles, but that was not his primary purpose.

In reality he simply came to proclaim the truth, show us the way home, and forgive us when we fall short.

Now there are couple of things we need to remember.

We do not decide what is right and wrong l what is good or what is bad.
The moral value of an action is not determined by how we feel about a given action.

What is right and what is wrong is determined by God and God’s law,
God knows what’s best for us.

We the Church don’t make the rules, they come from Divine revelation and the Teaching of Jesus Christ.

So the Church proclaims the truth, shows the way home, and is commissioned with giving us forgiveness when we fall short.

The first step in receiving forgiveness is to admit that we did something wrong,

Until we accept God’s dominion over our lives we can’t really be forgiven
until we come to understand the neither we nor our culture make the rules we really can’t be forgiven.

God longs for us to understand what is right and wrong, good and bad
He longs for us to follow his example of selfless love as we journey home
And He longs to forgive us when we fall short if we ask him.

This reconciliation this gift of forgiveness must not only be between God and us it must also be between all of God’s children.

We must forgive each other like God forgives us.
Holding onto the pain of past injuries will only causes us more pain and sadness.

We all  know that our human experience is often like  pendulum, it swings from extreme to extreme.
The Church has made lots of mistakes in this regard.

When I was a child everything was a sin.. And there were those who believed eating meat on Fridays was such a serious sin that it could deprive you of heaven for ever.

In the Sixties when everything was confused we went to the other extreme and nothing was a sin. the pendulum swung the other way There was no need to ask forgiveness because there was nothing that was really wrong.

We don’t need someone telling us that there is no sin
That God loves us and is so very willing to forgive us if we ask him.

For Jesus said receive the Holy Spirit whatever Sin your forgive is forgiven them.

Today is Mercy Sunday a day when the whole Church celebrated God’s loving Mercy and revealed to us by St. Faustina.

Thank you Lord for the road map home and thank you Lord for your mercy and forgiveness which all of us so desperately need. Amen

Amen