Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Parents, love your children but love God #1: Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

Listen to the homily here.

Notes:

The birth of Moses
·      Love of parents for their children
o   Born while boys were to be slaughtered
o   His mother hid him for three months
o   Then he put him in a basket
o   “Noticing the basket among the reeds, she sent her handmaid to fetch it.
On opening it, she looked, and lo, there was a baby boy, crying!
She was moved with pity for him and said,
"It is one of the Hebrews' children."
o   "Shall I go and call one of the Hebrew women
to nurse the child for you?"
"Yes, do so," she answered.
So the maiden went and called the child's own mother.
o   But Moses were given to Pharaoh, not his parents
·      But God is more important than us
o   Moses’ mother allowed Moses to be with the Egyptians
§  Moses exodus God’s family
o   Samuel’s mother was able to have a child and presented to God in the Temple
§  He became one of the most important prophets
o   Mother Mary received Jesus and allowed him to follow our Father
§  And he saved humanity


New week, new book: Exodus: Monday, July 17th, 2017

Listen to the homily here.

Notes:

A new book in our readings for daily Mass: Exodus
·      Joseph was sold to travelers to Egypt
·      Egypt climbed the ladder
·      His family went to Egypt for food
·      Hebrews grew together
“A new king, who knew nothing of Joseph, came to power in Egypt.”
“Look how numerous and powerful the people of the children of Israel are growing, more so than we ourselves!”

Life for children, life for freedom

Jesus, the best teacher, shows the sower seed with a parable: 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Listen to the homily here.

Notes:

This past week we had a blessed time with Totus Tuus
·      We had a wonderful week as our kids were able to have fun, learn, pray and were led with college students
·      Through this week I shared how Jesus Christ is the best teacher
And our readings this weekend are clearly how Jesus taught
·      And he did so to teach in several levels:
o   Our Gospel begins with Jesus giving a parable—a Jewish style of storytelling
o   His story points to sowing seeds: gardening, growing wheat, vegetables
o   He points back to the Old Testament: Isaiah (our first reading)
o   And then he showed what he meant in this parable
Sowing seeds:
·      Path: birds ate it
·      Rocky ground: with little soil they couldn’t grow
·      Thorns: the thorns grew, which choked the small plants
·      Rich soil: and the seeds grew into fruit
Then Jesus quoted Isaiah:
·      He challenged people in his time, and us today
·      Isaiah's prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says:
You shall indeed hear but not understand,

you shall indeed look but never see.

Gross is the heart of this people…”
Then Jesus spoke clearly to his disciples:
·      Path: “The seed sown on the path is the one
who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it,
and the evil one comes and steals away
what was sown in his heart.”
·      Rocky ground: “The seed sown on rocky ground
is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. 
But he has no root and lasts only for a time. 
When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word,
he immediately falls away.”
·      Thorns: “The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word,
but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word
and it bears no fruit.” 
·      Rich soil: “But the seed sown on rich soil
is the one who hears the word and understands it,
who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.”
Finally, through our readings today, Jesus is teaching us
·      But are we following our Lord?
·      Are you putting junk through our eyes and minds to allow evil to steal our hearts?
·      Are you only hearing our Lord here or there to fall away from Jesus?
·      Are you focusing so much for worldly anxiety or riches to be choke our faith?
Before Jesus came to our earth, God had said through Isaiah: “…my word shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it.”

·      How will God’s word come back to Him through your achievements through your prayer, your service, Mass, confession and teaching the same things Jesus teaches us to teach others?

Parish Bulletin Article: "Last Six Months": 7-16-17

            This weekend I would like to share some wonderful experiences we have had for the last six months.
            We are blessed as we are on the last stretch to sell our rectory and buy a new house—praise God!  Thank you to our parishioners, members in our committees, realtors and Northland Counseling Center to support this movement.  I will also share two dates as soon as I can.  The first is the time to bless our rectory.  I have spoke with members at Northland Counseling Center and we are all excited for this relationship.  To do so, we will show our faith and love to support our community.  As we pass forward our house, the Northland Counseling Center will serve men and women who need it to grow through addictions, mental illness and detox.  The second is the closing date.  Please continue to pray for this process!
            I also loved our first Baccalaureate Mass for our parishioners who graduated from high school.  This took place on Sunday, May 28th at St. Thomas Aquinas church and graduates from Littlefork, Falls and a home school came to God’s “school”.  It was a powerful Mass to walk with these young men and women as they begin the next steps in their journey.  We will continue this Baccalaureate Mass in the future.
            Our school took an important step: we hired Alison Fischbach to teach our preschool children.  At the same time our principal—Dawn Flesland—will have more hours to hone her leadership and administrative to support her responsibilities for our school.  Please continue to pray for our school.
            Finally, I continue to know how important your missions from Jesus Christ support our brothers and sisters, the poor, the sick, our parishes, our diocese and our school.  Keep up your great work!
            As my third year at St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Columban finishes up, the fourth year (and hopefully many more!) are on the way.
            Praise God!
           

            

Vocations: Friday, July 13th, 2017 (Totus Tuus Day #5)

Listen to the homily here.

We have churches and THE Church: Wednesday, July 12th, (Totus Tuus Day #3)

Listen to the homily here.

The loyalty of Mother Mary and Jesus as the best teacher: Tuesday, July 11th, 2017 (Totus Tuus Day #2)

Listen to the homily here.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Totus Tuus and a "sandwich story": Monday, July 10th, 2017 (Totus Tuus day #1)

Listen to the homily here.

Labors and burdens vs. rest: 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Listen to the homily here.

Notes:

We live in a busy, busy culture
·      And I believe that we listened to an important gift from God in our lives
 Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened…”
·      What do you labor?  What are you burdened?
o   Raising children?
o   Challenging your health?
o   Loneliness?
o   Work?  Unemployment?
o   Sinfulness?
·      What can you bring to the light at Mass?
This is what Jesus wants to give us: “…and I will give you rest.”
·      Well how should we rest?
·      Personally, I think it is important to:
o   Sleep
o   Exercise
o   Pray
§  One moment
§  Five minutes
§  Half an hour
§  Memorized prayers
§  Journal
§  Mass
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”
·      Jesus yoke can only be “easy” if Jesus is in your life
·      Your burden can only be light if you find rest
No matter where we are, we must open our hearts
·      We cannot control many things
·      But God can


Mark 6:30   The apostles returned to Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught.  31 And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.  32 And they went away in the boat to a lonely place by themselves.


The test for Abraham: Thursday, July 6th, 2017

Listen to the homily here.

Notes:

“God put Abraham to the test.”
·      To offer his son to God
·      Mount Moriah
·      As the two walked on together, Isaac spoke to his father Abraham:
"Father!" he said.
"Yes, son," he replied.
Isaac continued, "Here are the fire and the wood,
but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?"
"Son," Abraham answered, 
"God himself will provide the sheep for the burnt offering."
·      Abraham passed the test with his faith
·      They found a ram for the sacrifice—not a lamb

Jesus Christ—our Father’s son—was sacrificed on the wood, on the altar, as the lamb

An eerie reading about the Gadarenes: Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

Listen to the homily here.

Notes:

Gadarenes
·      Two demoniacs
·      Jesus power
·      Demons left the two people and enter the swine

“The swineherds ran away,
and when they came to the town they reported everything,
including what had happened to the demoniacs.
Thereupon the whole town came out to meet Jesus,
and when they saw him they begged him to leave their district.”

“Our stuff” or God’s stuff?
Our relationship with Jesus Christ, especially when things happen that I do not want: sickness, lost job, challenging things, etc.

Don’t ask Jesus to leave!



Jesus Christ as a coach?: Tuesday, July 4th, 2017 (Independence Day)

Listen to the homily here.



The analytical St. Thomas: Monday, July 3rd, 2017

Listen to the homily here.

Notes:

Thomas called “Dydmus”
·      Apostle:
·      Martyred
Ephesians 2:19-22
·      “…you are fellow citizens with the holy ones
and members of the household of God, 
built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets,
with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.
John 20:24-29
·      “We have seen the Lord”
·      "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe."
·      Thomas answered and said to him, "My Lord and my God!"
·      "Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed."


Parish Bulletin Article: "Independence Day": 7-2-17

            On this Wednesday we will celebrate the United States of America on its 241 anniversary.  On this same day in 1776 our forefathers declared independence with their words and signatures.  Here is one snippet:

We in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitled them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

(Read these 1322 words!)
           
This day reminds me both of our country and God.  As a country, we are blessed in this beautiful place on earth.  I have seen lakes, rivers, oceans, mountains, plains, forests, fields and beautiful nature.  More than these, I am blessed from my parents, brothers, sister-in-laws, nieces and nephew, relatives and friends in our country.
I also praise God.  He is the Creator of this earth.  His providence allows us to live with rich blessings: religious freedom, food, drink, clothes, homes, safety, education, technology, hospitals and more.
At the same time, God’s same love and creation is offered to each person in each place around the globe.  His Kingdom is not just for us, but our whole world.  After Jesus’ resurrection he taught his apostles, and all of us today: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Matthew 28:18b-20).
I ask you for three spiritual opportunities on the 4th of July.  Please come to Mass at 10:00am at St. Thomas Aquinas.  Here we can worship God with freedom when many others cannot.  Please offer an Our Father for the 321.4 million citizens in our country as this prayer says, “Thy kingdom done”.  And please remember that our King is the King for all followers to Him.
God Bless!

            

The different gifts from Sts. Peter and Paul: Thursday, June 29th, 2017

Listen to the homily here.

Notes:

St. Peter and St. Paul
·      Most famous of the Apostles
·      Peter from the beginning, Paul the next chapter
·      Martyrdom

Ant. 1
You are Christ, the Son of the living God.  Blessed are you Simon, son of John.

Ant. 2
You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church.

Ant. 3
You are the chosen vessel of God, blessed apostle Paul; you preached the truth throughout the whole world.


How glorious are the apostles of Christ; in life they loved one another; in death they rejoice together for ever.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A covenant between God and Abraham: Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

Listen to the homily here.

Notes:

Covenant from God to Abram
·      Abram was asking for a child
·      God said, “"No, that one shall not be your heir;
your own issue shall be your heir."
He took him outside and said:
"Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can.”  Just so," he added, "shall your descendants be."
·      When the sun had set and it was dark,
·      It was on that occasion that the LORD made a covenant with Abram
Covenant = a promise (oath) between two parties



Gifts to find the narrow gate: Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Listen to the homily here.

Notes:

Readings have been focusing to Abram (Abraham) in Genesis and the Sermon on the Mount

"Enter through the narrow gate;
for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction,
and those who enter through it are many.
How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life.
And those who find it are few."
·      Maps, directions, GPS

Mass, Bible, Prayer




Why do we treat others worse than we want to be treated?: Monday, June 26th, 2017

Listen to the homily here.

Notes:

Gossip, forgiveness, judging

"Stop judging, that you may not be judged.
For as you judge, so will you be judged,
and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.”

Wooden beam vs. the splinter in your brothers eye




Face what you fear: 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Listen to the homily here.

Notes:

Our readings this weekend have a wide theme: fear
Today, it is important to face your fears
·      Here is one of mine when I was a young child
o   We lived in a house kitty corner McGregor school
o   I used to play at the playground
o   Sometimes there was a dog and I sprinted back to our house and shut the fence door to beat it
o   One time I did not
o   I remember being tackled by this dog and then dogs feared me!
·      What is your fear?
o   Bats?  Snakes?  Robbers?  Death?  Public speaking? 
§  Sins: addiction, pornography, stealing
§  Anxiety, depression, suicide, obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia
Three thoughts this weekend
·      First: our mind
o   Not a psychologist!
o   There are 20 million people in our country that have social anxiety
o   Please check out the gifts that God has given for our mind, counseling, therapists or even medicine
·      Second: God Himself
o   Listen again some great verses in your back pocket
o   Jeremiah: “But the LORD is with me, like a mighty champion…”
o   Jesus Christ: "Fear no one.”
o   Jesus Christ: “So do not be afraid;”
o   God said and continues to say to you these words!
·      Spiritually
o   What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light;”
o   Pray to God for your fear
o   Do not keep what scares you: your loved ones, friends, teammates
o   Bring your soul to the light: Mass, prayer, Confession, Eucharistic Adoration
2 Corinthians 12:7-10:
·      And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated.  Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me; but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong.