Sunday, March 18, 2018

Die Day?: 5th Sunday of Lent

Listen to the homily here.


When I was in high school, I had to go to a TEC (Together Encountering Christ) retreat on the process to be confirmed
·      I know that you used to have this retreat up here
·      I was not thrilled to go to this retreat
o   I had many other things I would have rather done
o   But it changed my life
·      Three days:
o   Die day: confession
o   Rise day: open your hearts
o   Go day: go forth to follow Christ
A few thoughts that reminds me during our season of Lent
·      Die day
·      One passage was throughout the retreat: “Amen, amen, I say to you, 
unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.”
o   How do I offer my life to you?
§  Most often: Love
§  Love = willing the good of the other
·      JP and the chapel
·      Metanoia: change in our spiritual lives
o   I will make a new covenant…I will place my law within them and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
§  How do I open my heart to be changed by God?
§  How do I follow His love
§  How do I offer my love?
Rise day
·      Paschal mystery
o   Paschal (paschalis) = Passover or Easter
o   Redemption of Jesus Christ, especially through his passion, death and resurrection
The third day was Go Day

·      When Jesus sent the Holy Spirit upon us

Parish Bulletin Article: "Children with Jesus Christ through Adoration": 3-18-18

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’  And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them, and said, ‘Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven’” (Matthew 18:2-4).
As I continue to share different experiences that I have seen with Eucharistic Adoration, the four verses above are quite impressive.  Little ones need 100% help to eat, drink and live.  Often, they quickly grow close to Jesus and learn how vital he is.
As a youth minister, we used to have a five-day retreat named “Discipleship Week” in Duluth.  Between 50-75 high school students, we always asked our students what the favorite part of the retreat towards the end of the week.  Most of them quickly answered, “Adoration.”  It was awesome for me to watch these young men and women entering daily Masses, a couple of nights with Eucharistic Adoration and Confession.
I also used to bring students to Camp Survive, another diocesan event that is filled with students around our diocese to the day.  And do you know what one of their favorite parts was for the week?  Usually, it wasn’t swimming, games, food or events.  It was often “Mass” and or “Adoration.” 
After I was ordained a priest, we had a cool event after our School Mass at St. John the Evangelist.  Do you know what we did?  Fr. Rich or I exposed Jesus through Eucharistic Adoration (as well as praise and worship and confession).  It was amazing to watch kids from kindergarten-sixth graders adoring our Savior, receive love, mercy and compassion, and beginning a better day at school.
Now I try to make each event that offered for our students around our Diocese of Duluth, as I can serve and enjoy how these young ones open their hearts to God.
Here are three recommendations and goals in my mind which will only support and encourage our parishes, school and parishioners.  First, our 40 Hours of Adoration will begin at 6:00pm at St. Thomas Aquinas on Tuesday.  It will start with exposition of Jesus Christ, a quick talk and a moment for reconciliation with two visiting priests and me.  We will also have a great musician to offer praise and worship.  It will conclude at 8:45am on Thursday morning (with our school Mass right after) with reposition and benediction.  During these forty hours, we have several opening slots, and we need each hour with you.  Please sign up!
Second, we need two hours to be covered during our weekly hours from Monday to Friday.  Please sign up!  (Speak with me, Carol Youso or Les Hendrickson).
Third, back in the day, we offered Adoration for 24/7, which means “perpetual Adoration.”  Now, it is time to invite and add more adorers as this would only grow our relationships with God and our spiritual offerings for our family.  I believe that we can easily find ten people in our parishes to enhance our weekly prayers and we will change it to 11:00am-11:00pm.  I will be signing up for Wednesday evenings from 10:00-11:00pm.  Who will join the 11:00am and 10:00pm crew?
(You adorers, fish for people to allow this movement forward to Christ).
Finally, I love one of my former cross-country running quotes: “When you don’t go forward, you go backward.”  While he meant this for a sport, this also connects to Jesus Christ. 
Experience Eucharistic Adoration, as you will go forward, and your life will change!           
God Bless. 


Would you ever worship a calf? What about money, television or power?: Thursday, March 15th, 2018

Listen to the homily here.

"My Father is at work until now, so am I at work...": Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

Listen to the homily here.

A child won't drown in the Bible, and an Elephant can swim in it: Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

Listen to the homily here.


“The Bible is shallow enough for a child not to drown, yet deep enough for an elephant to swim.”  St. Augustine


·      “water flowed out from the right side from the temple…”
·      Measuring cord
·      Kept walking and walking and walking
·      Like a child, then an elephant
“There is a stream whose runlets gladden the city of God”

Bethesda pool

A taste for Lautere Sunday with our salvation history: 4th Sunday of Lent

Listen to the homily here.


4th Sunday of Lent
·      Lautere: Rejoice, Jerusalem
o   Light breaking into the darkness
I rejoice with our readings today as it is a compact message how God saved the world
·      We rejoice to Jerusalem
·      Some images: a quilt, mosaic, art, music
2nd Chronicles
·      Last chapter of two books in the Bible: 1 and 2 Chronicles
o   In those days, all the princes of Judah, the priests, and the people 
added infidelity to infidelity, 
practicing all the abominations of the nations 
and polluting the LORD’s temple 
which he had consecrated in Jerusalem.”
§  It reminds us of Salvation History
§  And our own lives
o   God sent His messengers—the prophets—who proclaimed God as our Father, our Creator and Jehovah
§  These messengers were mocked
§  How do people mock God?  How do you mock God with His message within Catholic morality?
o   And Jerusalem was destroyed
§  Religion, politics, economy, community gone
o   Yet
Psalm 137
·      A poem and a prayer
·      Let my tongue be silenced, if I ever forget you?”
o   Up and down in the Scriptures, as well as cultures, as well our country, as well as each of us: when we forget God
§  And yes, at times we should not offer our own opinion, or believe what you want to believe, if it is not true
§  As questions, discussions, or even personal doubts, sometimes our tongue should be silent and when we walk away from God, not return back to God
·      Letter from St. Paul that in the Scriptures, this is after the four Gospels—after Jesus life, death and resurrection
·      A great moment of Lauetere
·      God, who is rich in mercy, 
because of the great love he had for us,

even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ — by grace you have been saved —,

raised us up with him
o   We are reminded to God’s rich immeasurable love, mercy and grace
John 3
·      The story with richness
·      Moses earlier rose a serpent on a pole to protect the Israelites, “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,  so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”
·      John 3:16
o   “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, 
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.”
·      Light
o   Some people back then, and today, go away from God, do not believe in God and stay in the darkness
o   But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, 
so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.”
Rejoice, Jerusalem
·      Rejoice, brothers and sisters, that God gave us a saving plan

·      Whose team are you really on?

Parish Bulletin Article: "Another Experience with Eucharistic Adoration": 3-11-18

I grew with Eucharistic Adoration while I was a student at The College of St. Scholastica.
It was a blessed time to join a Young Adult Group at St. Benedict under the leadership of Fr. Rich Kunst and Fr. Joel Hastings.  On many Monday evenings, we were able to experience thirty minutes in Adoration, an opportunity for confession and a theme taught by these priests.  These evenings concluded with some fun and meaningful times to ask questions and listen to conversations about our Catholic beliefs.
I also found another place to grow in my spiritual life by visiting a small Eucharistic Adoration chapel at St. Mary Star of the Sea (downtown Duluth).  I spent many hours throughout my four years at college, especially to offer prayers of the Breviary and read the Bible.
As I look back in my life, I saw small steps growing closer to Jesus Christ that supported my life, education, exercising as well as faith, hope and love.  Again, I felt peace, relaxation and beauty as I sat or knelt before our savior and these moments inspired me to listen to God, mainly through His Word, as I continued to discern for my vocation.
I believe that if you grow in a relationship with Jesus by visiting Eucharistic Adoration, he will only carry your spiritual life to help your journey towards God’s love, mercy and compassion.
Check out Adoration!
God Bless!

Stewardship with our Students and Amazing things about Jesus Christ: Thursday, March 8th, 2018

Listen to the homily here.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Jesus excelled the Old Law to the New Law...Matthew 5:17: Wednesday, March 7th, 2018

Listen to the homily here.

Media: My Talk during Lent on Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

Another great thought as we walk during Lent.  This evening I spoke about media.  What is about media and social media?  How do these stand in morality?  What is good?  What is bad?  Check it out here.

Honing into compassion and mercy: Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

Listen to the homily here.


Powerful passage
·      Peter asking about forgiveness
o   7x7
·      Parable
o   Debtor who can pay back nothing
o   He then seized his own servant
o   This servant went to jail
Of all of this
·      Focus in with the debtor to start with
·      Moved with compassion the master of that servant
let him go and forgave him the loan.”

How has God showing you His compassion?  How do we reply with our lives?

Is God #1 in Your Priority?: Third Sunday in Lent

Listen to the homily here.


I need eleven people come up here
·      Please stand here in a line to face our parishioners
·      Now, please tell me nice and loud, something you love in your life
·      Now, please hold this paper nice and high
·      What are those?
o   How much is this number?
o   What if we add more zero’s?  Actually, we could print out a line around our whole world…and how number is that?  Yep, still zero.
·      Now, add one other number…please hold this number (One)
·      Please walk over to the front of the line, and focus our parishioners
o   How number is that? 10,000,000,000: ten billion
o   Now zero’s, stay there
o   See what happens when 1 is before zero?
o   Start on the other side
§  1, 10, 100, 1,000, 10,000
·      Thank you, and grab your pew again

"I, the LORD, am your God, 
who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery.
You shall not have other gods besides me.”

God must be #1 in our lives
·      If He is not, that thing: person, hobby, possessions, job, family, sports are still zero
·      But when God comes first in your life, everything else comes beautiful, powerful, opening to God’s support
As we listened to the 10 Commandments, these are the basic rules
·      Our life should go beyond the rules
·      Our lives must grow to excellence
Think of rules in sports, music, driving, owning a house, buying groceries, etc.
And the most important law in our lives: God
Matthew 22:37-38: “He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the greatest and the first commandment.’”

Parish Bulletin Article: "The Second Event of Eucharistic Adoration": 3-4-18

The second event for Eucharistic Adoration took place on Steubenville, OH.
As a high school student in McGregor, MN, I began to hang out with some new friends in Virginia, MN, both with events and more TEC retreats.  One summer (then) Brandon Moravitz (now Fr. Brandon Moravitz, Pastor in Virginia) he was a youth minister, and he invited me to go to a Steubenville retreat.  Brandon and a few other adults drove us there with a long trip.
My first experience was quiet, and we stood around the altar to face Jesus’ Christ on the altar, and we could ask intercession.
The second encounter with many more young people was in a packed gymnasium in the Franciscan University of Steubenville.  This time it was not quiet, but filled with praise and worship music, Latin, incense and more.  As I looked to Jesus, I also looked around the area and saw hundreds of students at my age.  They knelt.  They prayed.  They sang.
Towards the end of this duration (two or three hours), the priest carried Jesus around the crowd with a blessing, lifting up the monstrance with the Sign of the Cross—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—as each person was blessed
Again, I did not know much what was going on.  What did happen was my sense of peace, encouragement and love from our savior.
If you are curious about Eucharistic Adoration, check it out in our chapel (which is above the stairs in our gathering space).
Back in the day, we had Adoration 24 hours a day which is stilled called a perpetual Adoration.  Our parishioners then signed up for an hour or more. 
Today, our Adoration chapel is opened from noon to 10:00pm.  I believe that together, we can not only fill each of these hours but even add more times for the morning and nightfall.  Eventually, I know that we could once again offer Adoration 24/7.
If the Church is open, you may come right in.  If you want to go after 4:00pm, please ring the doorbell (the door facing Backus) as a parishioner will welcome you to enter a new place in your life.

God Bless!

Will we help Lazarus?: Thursday, March 1st, 2018 (School Mass)

Listen to the homily here.