Monday, September 17, 2018
Listen to the homily here.
Listen to the homily here.
Today we have unbelievable communication
· Telephone with a cord
· Telephone without a cord
· Cell phones
· Emails, AOL, facebook, twitter,
Now imagine what Jesus and his disciples were communicating what today we call Israel
· Talking with each other, or sending messages via a camel, horse or donkey
“Jesus and his disciples set outfor the villages of Caesarea Philippi. Along the way he asked his disciples,‘Who do people say that I am?’ They said in reply,‘John the Baptist, others Elijah,still others one of the prophets.’”
· Now here is a question…how did this occur without technology that we have today?
· In my mind, his name was going through village to village, the largest places (Jerusalem) and places like Caesarea Philippi
· So, Jesus name was like a fire blown through people, knowing something new, and possibly the Jewish savior
So Jesus asked his followers his question,
· “But who do you say that I am?"
· “Peter said to him in reply,‘You are the Christ.’”
o This one word: Christ is huge
o Now, Christ in Hebrew is mashiac, Greek, Christo, the anointed one, the messiah, the savior
Before my last question, listen again from Isaiah and Jesus spoke about Christ himself which was a pivot from what the Israelites and even the disciples thought was coming: a victory of Israel as a general, leader and power
· Isaiah: “I gave my back to those who beat me,my cheeks to those who plucked my beard;my face I did not shieldfrom buffets and spitting…I have set my face like flint,knowing that I shall not be put to shame.”
· Mark: “He began to teach themthat the Son of Man must suffer greatlyand be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,and be killed, and rise after three days.”
Today, I have heard similar things like the disciples heard: John the Baptist, Elijah, or one of the prophets, but now I hear that Jesus is a prophet, a teacher, a philosopher, a guru, another
But like us today, “Who do you say that [Jesus] is”?
I believe that he is still Jesus Christ, our savior, who offered victory, not in a human war, not a rising in our jobs, not in winning for money
Jesus Christ open the door for true victory: our souls to make it to heaven
Here is an essential image which St. John Neumann proclaimed the following in the 19th century while he served God in the United States of America. He is the first canonized saint who was a bishop in our country, and what he wrote back then, continues to ring us today in our missions:
“Everyone who breathes, high and low, educated and ignorant, young and old, man and woman, has a mission, has a work. We are not sent into this world for nothing; we are not born at random; we are not here, that we may go to bed at night, and get up in the morning, toil for our bread, eat and drink, laugh and joke, sin when we have a mind, and reform when we are tired of sinning, rear a family and die. God sees every one of us; He creates every soul, . . . for a purpose. He needs, He deigns to need, every one of us. He has an end for each of us; we are all equal in His sight, and we are placed in our different ranks and stations, not to get what we can out of them for ourselves, but to labor in them for Him. As Christ has His work, we too have ours; as He rejoiced to do His work, we must rejoice in ours also” (St. John Neumann, from the sermon: “God’s Will the End of Life”).
What inspires me, is that this saint was a bishop in Philadelphia, which today is the center of another sexual abuse scandal in Pennsylvania.
How is each of us called to move forward to support victims from sexual abuse, follow God’s will and unite with God’s Kingdom on earth? Do it!
Finally, I believe what was said in the movie Dark Knight: “The night is darkest just before the dawn.” May our Catholic Church in the United States work together in the darkness to serve the victims and God before the new dawn of Jesus Christ. Once again, may our Church be purified and end the sexual abuse scandals in our country.
The real challenges from St. Paul with both "sodomites" AND everyone else!: Tuesday, September 11th, 2018
Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Listen to the homily here.
· “…people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impedimentand begged him to lay his hand on him.. He took him off by himself away from the crowd. He put his finger into the man’s earsand, spitting, touched his tongue;then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him,— that is, “Be opened!” —And immediately the man’s ears were opened,his speech impediment was removed,and he spoke plainly.”
Healing both spiritually and physically
· From God
· From doctors, nurses, Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapists
· Parishioner who had a stroke
· This person is doing well…not a doctor, but it sounds like this person will be back in a few days
Same floor…some same nurses
Thank you, God for you as the best physician
· And thank you, nurses, therapists and doctors in the natural world
· Whether we have been cured, or not, Isaiah reminds each of us that this earth is on spot, but in heaven:
· “Say to those whose hearts are frightened:Be strong, fear not!Here is your God,he comes with vindication;with divine recompensehe comes to save you. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened,the ears of the deaf be cleared;then will the lame leap like a stag,then the tongue of the mute will sing.”
Thank you, Lord, for your providence and salvation!
I recommend you to read and pray with the gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John within your holy journey. This idea is not a test, or homework to be due by a specific day, but an event to imagine the different relationship with our savior, Jesus Christ.
I mention this because we are facing several challenges in our society and our personal lives: secularism, relativism, individualism and materialism, to mention a few. Now, as we are challenged in our world, who is the best person to teach and strengthen us to go against the current? Of course—Jesus Christ!
In my relationship with Jesus Christ, I have experienced his compassion, friendship, sympathy and forgiveness through the Scriptures. I have also received challenges from him to my sinfulness, my pride, my weaknesses, my lateness, and more through the Word. He challenges me, not to make me terrified, but to be disciplined and loved for the more.
Praise God, our savior showed and shows us the real task: follow him, rather than the worldly crowd, complacency of simple historical ideas that Jesus was merely another prophet, teacher or guru. Nor should we pull out snippets of the Scriptures to only read the cozy verses but to listen to how Jesus taught.
For instance: Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). There is a good challenge to strengthen us against society!
Or, “Then Jesus said to[his disciples], ‘You will all fall away because of me this night; for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee’” (Matthew 26:31-32 which is pointing to Jesus’ death and resurrection from the cross). Again, these two verses are harsh, but can open our minds to the fact that Jesus offered his life to die for us, and open the gates of heaven beyond our world!
And as one last challenge from a couple of verses, today is the perpetual mediocrity of judgment and gossip in and out of generation after generation: “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get,” (Matthew 7:1-2).
Follow Jesus Christ. Follow God’s Word. Read, pray and study the center and climax of the whole Bible, the Gospels!
Polarization in our country, but we must have unity in our Catholic Church: Wednesday, September 5th, 2018
Tuesday, September 4, 2018
Listen to the homily here.
“Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.”
As a priest, I want to share the fact of sexual abuse within our clergy, whether deacons, priests, bishops, archbishops and cardinals
· As your pastor, I am sorry from egregious acts from my brothers, especially if anyone here experienced these hellish experiences.
· Please call the police, whether it was today or decades ago
· If so, know that I can listen to you and I have been praying for you every day.
· I, as a priest, is not here to be the boss…God is the Boss—our Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Mary is the Boss.
I want to hone into what I proclaimed a few moments ago: “Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.”
· In 2002, after the Boston sex abuse scandal, I believe that our Catholic Church in the United States made many steps forward
· We were taught for zero tolerance, calling the police, transparency with our leaders and public authorities
o I am proud of our police and praise God they are half a block from our Church
· Unfortunately, some bad apples and listen a third time that we must “Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.”
o That is our Boss, written through humans to show us what we leaders must do…not just hearing, but acting
Know that to your children, we have what we call in our Diocese of Duluth, Safe Environment
· To work with your children, each individual, myself, our employees and our volunteers must learn our process which you can see on each of our websites, as well as a background check…period
· And for me, as a priest, even before I could enter our Diocese as a seminarian, I went through a personal and psychologist inventory, a meeting with a psychologist, and our Diocesan committee before I could even be a seminarian—praise God.
Listen to another challenging what Jesus spoke in Mark 7
· “"From within people, from their hearts,come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder,adultery, greed, malice, deceit,licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within and they defile."
· Yes, some of my brothers did such of these evil acts
My hope is that our Catholic Church were be purified, purged and cleansed through Jesus Christ
· At the same time, everyone of us, myself included, must do the same thing in our hearts, as each of us is a sinner
Friends, pray for our brothers and sisters that these victims may become survivors, and continue to know of Jesus Christ’s love and compassion
· Pray for our priests and Bishops around our country and in our Diocese
· Pray for Pope Francis
Finally, “Be doers of the word”…Jesus Christ our savior!
Welcome back to school in this 2018-2019 school year!
I went to school for 23 years since I was a five-year-old kindergartener all the way until my ordination. Now one of my favorite days of the year is the first day of school, because I am no longer an official student! But alas, my school years are over, but my learning must always continue to grow.
To all of you students, work hard and learn the best you can. God has given us a brain and you must “exercise” your minds, just as you would for sports.
To you parents, thank you for your gift(s) of life. I can’t imagine working 24/7/365, and your beauty, as well as challenges, is compelling for your call from God and yourselves. I hope that each of our schools may work together to offer you the best opportunities for your children.
To our teachers, administers, employees and volunteers at St. Thomas Aquinas School, the Falls, Littlefork, Indus and home schools, thank you for your presence, your talents, your dedication and your support to teach, guide and serve each child.
May we always keep your children to grow in their lives, keep them safe and always remember that Jesus Christ will evermore be with each of you.
Know of my prayers, as well as our parishioners, to enter into a beautiful year! Also, at the end of our Masses at St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Columban, I will be offering a special blessing for each of you.
I will conclude this article which one of my cross-country coaches said which is similar to a marathon school year: “Start well, pace well and finish well!”