Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Some different ways you could pray with the different readings at Mass: Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

Listen to the homily here.

Notes:

Martha and Mary
·      Jesus had no sin
·      He also knew their souls
·      Tell her to help me

·      "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.  There is need of only one thing.  Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her."

Jonah and a scholar of the law: Monday, October 9th, 2017

Listen to the homily here.

Notes:

Jonah and a scholar of the law
·      Jonah went wrong the direction
·      Scholar of the law was correct with the law, but missed love
·      “But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, 
"And who is my neighbor?"”
Good Samaritan
·      Not your law
·      Jesus’ law
·      Which of these three, in your opinion,
was neighbor to the robbers' victim?"
He answered, "The one who treated him with mercy."
Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."


A cool and odd readings about vineyards: 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Listen to the homily here.

Notes:

A vineyard
·      I love the new rectory
·      I am able to walk through three gardens: our rectory, the community and our church
·      And I am so bad, that one of my friends said to me, “Fr. Ben, you have ton of grapes and you could make wine or jelly.”
·      I had know clue as I have no clue to have a garden, or a vineyard.
But God is
·      We had the images of a vineyard through Isaiah, our Responsorial Psalm and Jesus parable
·      But unlike the vineyard, or the gardens I, and many of you see often, our readings speak about some bad stuff
In Isaiah
·      A friend worked hard for his vineyard
o   “…on a fertile hillside; he spaded it, cleared it of stones, and planted the choicest vines; within it he built a watchtower, and hewed out a wine press.”
o   Sounds cool…
o   Then he looked for the crop of grapes, but what it yielded was wild grapes.”
o   Hmmm…not a grape to produce a vintage of wine
·      Or in Jesus’ parable
o   There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a tower.  Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey.”
o   Again…wonderful
o   When vintage time drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce.  But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat, another they killed, and a third they stoned.
o   What?
God is showing how His vineyard should follow us to Him
·      Work, action and production
Well, in Isaiah and Matthew, the humans did not fulfill the true vineyard
·      In Isaiah, it was God’s people: the Israelites and the people in Judah
o   The vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the people of Judah are his cherished plant; he looked for judgment, but see, bloodshed!  for justice, but hark, the outcry!”
o   The Israelites and Judaists were not following God but other gods—idolatry, adultery, sins
·      Jesus was speaking about how his workers were the leaders and prophets in the OT, as well as the disciples and apostles in the NT
·      And, Jesus himself
o   Finally, he sent his son to them, thinking, 'They will respect my son.'
But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another, 'This is the heir.  Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.'”
o   And who were going against God’s vineyard?  Yes, enemies.  Yes, evil.
§  Are we not being persecuted in our culture?  Are we not with martyrs today around our world?  Are we not watching people who cut out God, who cut out Jesus Christ?
o    But yes, each of us in our sinfulness.
As God’s sons and daughters,
·      We are to work for God’s mission. 
·      We are to live with action and discipline for God’s vineyard and not ours. 
·      And God wants us to offer produce and fruit for Him.

·      How is God calling you to work, follow actions and offer produce to God’s vineyard?

Parish Bulletin Article: "Fall on your Knees": 8-8-17

Earlier this week we heard about another atrocity event in our country—this time in Las Vegas.  Dozens of brothers and sisters were killed; hundreds were injured, and some of these are still in hospitals with critical conditions; thousands experienced a traumatic incident. 
When we Catholics and Christians learn about circumstances like this, we should fall on our knees and pray to Jesus Christ for our brothers and sisters that were hurt from evil.
The best place to fall on your knees is in our Eucharistic Adoration chapel.  This is one of the most powerful places to connect with our King—with or without our words.  St. Paul wrote in Romans 8:26: “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.” 
Continue to pray for all victims, loved ones, relatives, friends and sufferings. 
And always remember: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

God Bless

Our Guardian's Angel: Monday, October 2nd, 2017

Listen to the homily here.


"It's not fair...": 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Listen to the homily here.

Notes:

Think of this line that most of us has heard:
·      It’s not fair!”
·      Imagine some hypothetical thoughts for you parents
o   “It’s not fair…it’s my sister’s birthday and I don’t get a present today!”
o    “It’s not fair…my brother’s friend is here but mine is not!”
o   “It’s not fair…my sister is sick and can’t go to Mass, but I have to!”
o   “It’s not fair…my friend has Nintendo video games, but I don’t!”
o   Or think of your situation with your child(ren)
·      Now think of you parents
o   My Mom and Dad always said, “Life is not fair…”
o   And a three year old nodded his head
o   How do you react to your children’s thoughts?
o   How did you respond to your kids?  Was it a “life moment”/teach moment?  Was it instructed with compassion and love while showing the best place that they can do excel in their lives? 
·      I mean you are their parents!
·      You are in charge of their soul and salvation!
As a priest and as a Pastor, part of my job is similar to you parents
·      Some similar, but some differences
·      But like a parent, “a priest, a Father” is to teach, encourage, grow and support your missions
·      As we heard St. Paul’s writing to the Philippians:
o   “If there is any encouragement in Christ, any solace in love,
any participation in the Spirit, any compassion and mercy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing…Have in you the same attitude that is also in Christ Jesus…
And I have heard several notions from parishioners, Christians, society
·      “It’s not fair…you Catholics can receive communion, but I can’t!”
·      “It’s not fair…you priests should be able to get married!”
·      “It’s not fair…a man can be a priest, but a woman cannot!”
·      Ezekiel 18: “You say, "The LORD's way is not fair!"  Hear now, house of Israel: Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair?”
o   How do we learn this?
o   Please speak to me!
§  For instance
·      We have a deep belief for Jesus’ Body and Blood and the teaching of Jesus Christ on earth and in the Scriptures show that not everyone can receive the gift of communion...to receive communion you must say “I believe…aka…I believe in the Catholic faith…morality…”
o   Please talk with faithful Catholics
o   Please learn!
·      1 Peter 2:1-3
o   Rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, insincerity, envy, and all slander; like newborn infants, long for pure spiritual milk so that through it you may grow into salvation, for you have tasted that the Lord is good.”
Life is not fair. 
·      Your children might not think that some stuff is not fair. 
·      Some think that we Catholics are not fair
·      But is God “not fair”? 
·      Or perhaps God has a mosaic that we cannot even see through His providence, His plan, His mission as He created us, He has infinite power and is in charge of our lives






Parish Bulletin Article: "What to Hate...": 10-1-17

This weekend I would like to focus on one word: hate.
Hate is a powerful word in our society, and it is important to discern how we Catholics could—or even should—use this word.
For instance, you may see some signs around town with a slogan: “Hate Has No Home Here.”  I was curious about these signs, I both spoke with several parishioners and community members, and I looked it up on their website (https://hatehasnohome.org/index.html):
The Hate Has No Home Here movement is built around a simple idea: it’s easy to hate people we don’t know.  Posters and yard signs are just the beginning.  What starts as powerful, positive messaging continues in relationship-building, dialogue, and communal action. When neighbors of different races, religions, and nationalities move past indifference to investment in one another, we knock out the underpinnings of racism and intolerance, and make possible a better future for our communities.”
In my mind, this seems like a good movement on one level.  We Catholics should never hate any person.  God has created each person with life and dignity and could receive God’s love, mercy and compassion.  And none of us should judge or condemn during our journey with and to Jesus Christ.
But we Catholics have at least three levels we should hate.
First, we should hate Satan.  At the same time, many people in our culture do not even believe in Satan.  Satan and his minions are fighting a spiritual war against our souls.  As Jesus Christ did win the battle against Satan through his death and resurrection, we are continually in that war through our lives from today to our death.  Personally, I am glad that Jesus Christ will allow hate against Satan in our home in his Kingdom.
Second, we should also hate evil.  St. John wrote in Revelation 12:9: “Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good….”   Yes, we do have differences between good versus bad, right versus wrong and holy versus evil in our Catholic Church.
And, third, we should hate our sins.  Again, many people in our culture do not even believe in sin.  Jesus saw that in his own time, and he had said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17).  Also, St. Paul wrote an excellent passage to the Romans and us (Romans 7:15): “I do not understand my own actions.  For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”
Finally, always remember that we have “bad hate” and “healthy hate.”  Think and pray how to encounter our mission from God in the many situations we face each day.

God Bless!