Saturday, July 23, 2011

Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time Year A - 2011

You know when we fall in love
when we really fall in love it's as if our whole being changes.

We move from thinking about ourselves
to thinking about the one or ones we love.

Suddenly we have the ability to make incredible sacrifices.

We find within ourselves the power to forgive any offense
even when we really hurt.

We all know that you can love someone and forgive them but still be perturbed or disappointed with them.

When we love we willingly go without so that we can give to those we care about and we harbor no ill will because of our sacrifice.

Don't get me wrong love is not all rosy.
Love is certainly not easy

We all know that.

You know it's not easy being married.
I know that it is not easy being a celibate priest.

Every life has its ups and downs.

You know that bringing children into the world is filled with joys and filled with challenges.

I know that being the Pastor of a beautiful parish like St. Paul's is filled with joys and filled with challenges.

Yes there is a very high price to pay when we love.
If we find love too easy we might not be loving at all.

Yet without a doubt love permits us to do super human things,
holy things.

When we are able to love we conform ourselves more closely to the image and likeness of God.

We become more and more like Him.

The Gospel today reminds us that our commitment to God and God's Kingdom,
have to be as strong as our commitment to those we love.

In other words when the man discovered God and God's Kingdom he went and sold everything he had to purchase the treasure he had found.

If our faith does not demand from us the same level of sacrifice there is something wrong.

It is not easy to be a Catholic
It is not easy to follow Christ

It is fool hardy or naive to think that just as Christ's life led him to the  cross somehow and our lives can avoid that same sacrifice.

But even with the high price that our love of God and God's Kingdom demands many of us can't even conceive our lives without our faith.

It is indeed like a treasure buried in a field

Its value is beyond measure
and it is worth every sacrifice.

So Holy ones everyday let's try to let go of what we have
and what we want so that we too can purchase the treasure in the field and deepen our relationship with God and each other..

The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field,
which a person finds and hides again,
and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. 

Let us go and do the same with our fear.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

16th Sunday of Ordinary Time–Year A

Weeds and WheatMay the peace of Christ reign in our hearts.

When Jesus spoke to his followers he used simple examples.

He spoke to ordinary people in ordinary words about the profound truths of life and love and our relationship with God.

In today’s Gospel we hear three different parables

They all speak about the Kingdom of God and these parables are as meaningful for us today as they were for the people who heard them from Jesus himself.

After a long winter a gardener can’t wait for the ground to thaw so that they can get their hands in the soil

In the early spring when life begins to pop up all over earth if you go to your garden you will see all kinds of green things breaking through the soil.

It is almost impossible to know which ones are weeds and which one will be flowers or vegetables.

The temptation is to simply pull everything out but that’s not what God would have us do.

It is only after a while sometimes a long while that you can figure out exactly what is really growing in your garden.

The gardener will always ask himself Is this wheat or is it a weed?

The land owner (God) does not want the us to pull out what seems to be weeds because they might actually be wheat.

The moral of the story is simply this.

We need to be patient

Patient with each other and patient with difficult situations.

You know a person might seem like a weed their whole life and than in one incredible moment of grace turn out to be a beautiful stalk of wheat.

You might be in a job which seems like a weed sucking the life out of you and everything around you but after a while it may turn into something life giving for you.

Your teenager might seem to be like a weed from another planet but… you just never know give him/her a chance and  they may actually turn out to be the beautiful stalk of wheat you remember them as.

All of us have weeds in our lives.

Some of us may even be convinced that we live with weeds…

God wants us to be patient

We should never give up on a person God never does

And the most incredible thing to remember is this

God’s transformative love is so powerful that He can even change a weed into wheat whenever it is ready.

All of us need more patience.

We must never forget how patient God is with us…

The second parable speaks about a Mustard seed..

Mustard seeds are really small and seem pretty insignificant by any standard.

Yet they contain within themselves incredible power,

and when they are watered, nurtured and cared for they can become a huge tree.

Someone recently said to me there is so little good in the world and so much bad.

I’ll admit sometimes it seems that way.

And sometimes it’s just hard to cope.

We must never forget that as long as there is even the tiniest bit of good even good the size of a mustard seed There is something good to hope for.

As long as there is the tiniest seed of good in our marriage

As long as there is the tiniest seed of good in our job

As long as there is the tiniest seed of good in our relationships

There is something to hope for

God wants us to dare to hope.

The Kingdom of God is indeed present  in this world

As this parish has faced some pretty significant challenges these last couple weeks we has seen God’s presence in a wonderful way this week.

At first goodness and hope seemed so small…

but now we know that God is here and the events of these last two weeks have brought us closer together rather than farther apart.

Finally Jesus spoke about yeast

Yeast which has the power to change….

We must be like the yeast.

Yeast which has the power to transform a glob of wet flour into a loaf of wonderful bread.

I used to live in a Friary with a bread machine.

When we first got the machine  we baked fresh bread everyday. It was wonderful to wake up and smell it.

One day when it was my turn to set up the bread machine .

When we woke up the next morning the smell was different .

I went to the bread machine only to find a big mess.

I had forgotten to put in the most important ingredient… the yeast.

Just like flour and water need yeast to make bread

The world needs good patient people even just a few to build up God’s Kingdom

We are the yeast

By our sacrifice, by our forgiveness, by our devotion to truth and justice,bBy our generosity,

we can change the world into something wonderful just like the yeast turns a glob of dough into a loaf of bread.

So let us be patient with the weeds in our lives especially those weed which have two legs

Let us refuse to give up even when there is only the tiniest amount of hope. hope the sign of a mustard seed.

Armed with patience and hope we can indeed be like yeast for a world so desperate to be transformed into the Kingdom of God.