Created with Sketch.
9 minutes | Oct 17, 2021
Are You Weak Enough to be a Christian? | #1147
Ordinary Time, 29th Sunday (B) Our recent clergy congress was about promoting vocations. The priesthood today is a more challenging profession than ever. People who feel called to priesthood often wonder if they will be strong enough to fulfill all the demands. But the real question is, are you weak enough to be a priest? You see, our weakness is not an obstacle to God's love. In fact, trying not to be weak is one of our biggest problems. How many marriages would have been saved if the partners had been willing to admit, "I need help with my anger, gambling, alcohol, pornography, suicidal thoughts..."? Though Jesus was strong, he chose to become weak. Jesus was successful, not because he was strong enough, but because he accepted his weakness and relied on the strength of God. God wants to give you the same help. If you are trying to be 'strong enough,' you are only setting yourself up for a fall. Are you weak enough to be a Christian? (17 Oct 2021) Going Deeper: What part of my weakness and struggles do I have a hard time accepting? What keeps me from relying on God's power? Oriens 2021 is now available for purchase | Thank you Sue! Powered by Patrons | Image: Tango7174 via Wikimedia Commons
19 minutes | Oct 3, 2021
God Is Pointing at You, but its Not What You Think | #1146
Ordinary Time, 27th Sunday (B) I have often preached on marriage and divorce in the past (see Marriage is for Children | #546 and This is Why So Many Marriages Fail | #846). Today, I want to look at the dynamic inside our souls. And to illustrate this I'm going to use two famous works of art. The first is the Creation of Adam from the Sistine Chapel. We see Adam fresh and new like a baby. God is straining to have a relationship with Adam, but Adam isn't convinced he really wants a relationship with God. Ultimately, he will choose creation over the Creator. Creation of Adam by Michelangelo Adam's choice leads to our second image, the Calling of Saint Matthew by Caravaggio. Man's soul has become darkened and crowded with friends, money, fine clothes and pleasures. But God's light is still shining and God, now in the person of Jesus Christ, still wants a relationship with man. Call of Matthew by Caravaggio This is an analogy to the inside of man's soul. We need to be willing to accept our poverty, our vulnerability and weakness. In a word, we need to be willing to be children. We often think that the finger of God is accusing us of sin. But really God is pointing because he's calling you into a relationship with him. On this Respect Life Sunday, I'll finish my homily with a reflecting by Anita on how she experienced God's love for her. Going Deeper: Have you experienced God's merciful love calling you out of darkness and into his light? How did you respond to that call? Visit the Langlade County Chapter of Wisconsin Right to Life Thank you Joyce! Powered by Patrons Oriens 2021 is now available at OSV Catholic Bookstore and will soon be available on Amazon.com, at your local Christian bookstore, and wherever fine books are sold.
12 minutes | Sep 26, 2021
Are You On God's Team? | #1145
Ordinary Time, 26th Sunday (B) Last week I told you that I wanted our parish to work like a team. Everyone is called to ministry and mission. Our parish should help you discern your gifts and use them for God's glory. In our first reading, seventy elders have been chosen to help Moses with his ministry. Two don't show up for the prayer service but they still get the gift of the spirit. In a similar way, Jesus' disciples are concerned about someone who is using Jesus' name but isn't on their team. Jesus is not concerned about the others but rather about his disciples: Are you so sure that you are on God's team? How might your sin be undermining your relationship with God and your teammates? Sin is the opposite of righteousness, and rightness is necessary for good team work. Let God set you free so you can help God set others free. (26 Sep 2021) Going Deeper: Write out your working definition of sin. How does your view of sin affect your ability to choose good and avoid evil? How do you evil choices hurt the rest of God's team? Thank you Tom & Sue and John & Amy for your donations through PayPal. Image Source
12 minutes | Sep 20, 2021
I Have a Dream... Team! | #1144
Ordinary Time, 25th Sunday (B) I have a dream, that the clergy and parish staff here in Antigo will become an awesome team! I also dream that each parish will work together as a team and that the three parishes can team up together. In order to make team work, we need to overcome the Five Dysfunctions of a Team: 5. Inattention to results4. Avoidance of accountability3. Lack of commitment2. Fear of conflict1. Absence of trust Building trust, according to Patrick Lencioni, requires a willingness to be vulnerable within the group. We have to be genuinely open with each other about our own failures and weaknesses. There are five corresponding steps to good teamwork:Trust that the other person's intentions are good.Good healthy conflict about the best way to achieve our goals.Commit to decisions and plans of actions.Hold one another accountable to delivering against those plans.Focus on the achievement of collective results. Jesus wants his Apostles to be a team. But rivalries and jealousies are undermining the team. So Jesus explains to them that leadership is really service. Jesus is willing to trust his Father so much that he's not afraid to be vulnerable. Picture having Jesus' arms wrapped around you. Does it matter who is the greatest when God is hugging you? I am poor, weak, and vulnerable. But God loves me, and there's nothing else I need. (19 Sep 2021) Going Deeper: Do you recognize your family, workplace, or church more on the "dysfunctions" list or the "teamwork" list? Are you able to be honest and vulnerable, or are you waiting for others to do it first? Oriens 2021 is available now for pre-order.
18 minutes | Sep 12, 2021
Where Was God? Finding Hope in Suffering | #1143
Ordinary Time, 24th Sunday (B) Actions speak louder than words. God says he loves us. But we see it for ourselves when the Word becomes flesh and dies on the cross for us. Where was God on September 11, 2001? Tom Colucci was a New York firefighter working at ground zero. He saw God in the way that people came together and helped one another. He saw God giving him strength to attend all the funerals and get through those 9 months. Rear Admiral Jeremiah Denton, Jr., was a prisoner of war in Vietnam for seven years. He saw God when he was being tortured to the limit of his endurance. The moment he prayed and gave it to God was when he experienced both physical comfort and serenity of mind. I was running last week when I felt exhausted. I said a prayer and handed it over to God. At that moment it was like God right there receiving my sacrifice. It reminded me of a time on retreat when I felt the closeness of God as if my words didn't have to travel any distance at all. How would your prayer be different if you realized that it went from from your lips to God's ear? How would your sufferings be different if you remember that Jesus was with you and was wanting to help carry your burden? (12 Sep 2021) Going Deeper: The image for this post was taken by Anne Bybee. Read the story A Picture of Hope from 9/11. And also watch the short YouTube video Why This 9/11 Firefighter Became a Priest. The Pilgrim Priest podcast is available again on Stitcher. You can find us on a dozen or so podcast platforms. Leave a comment about your favorite podcast platform or send me an email and suggest a new platform.
13 minutes | Sep 4, 2021
Jesus is Still Working Miracles | #1142
Ordinary Time, 23rd Sunday (B) I used to not really believe in faith healing. Then I saw it for myself at a discipleship seminar. I have prayed with people and they have reported immediate relief from symptoms. Sometimes, though, the physical illness would return. I think that Jesus was working a sort of temporary relief in order to get peoples' attention. Which do you think is harder: To open the ears of the physically deaf or to open the ears of those who are deaf to the cries of the poor and the voice of God? Jesus works a physical healing so that they will be open to a much more profound, and significant, spiritual healing. The "Ephphatha" from today's reading continues to be repeated in the Baptism ritual. That means the Church desires this kind of healing, this kind of openness to God's voice, for every Christian. Prayer is "a response to the presence and action of God in our lives." We often want God to talk but we aren't willing to step away from the crowd. Oriens 2021 is a great opportunity to "tune in" to the voice of God. A couple weeks ago I invited people to share a Mass Moment with me. Here's one that was shared with me, and I got the author's permission to share it with you. I'd like to share my Mass moment with you. I've heard our Catholic teaching on the Eucharist my whole life. I've always believed. It's important to say I've noticed an intention of making the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist a focal point in homilies, Catholic talk shows, and Relevant Radio. Since I am nearly retired I try to attend daily Mass. Recently as Father began the prayers of consecration, I came to a reality that this was the very same God that created the earth. The very same God I will soon hold in my own hands and then consume. The very same God will become a part of every cell in my body. Tears began to flow uncontrollably for the duration for Mass. I remained in church after Mass just enjoying the intimate moment I had with God. I also bring this "Mass moment" to mind at each Mass. I'm glad I'm Catholic. Children should be praying an Our Father in the morning and a Hail Mary before bedtime. Adults and teens should be committed to at least 15 minutes of quality time with God every day. Make yourself a prayer chair, prayer corner, or prayer space in your house. I would venture to guess that every Catholic has probably had some kind of mini miracle experience. When did you experience a healing, an answer to prayer, a #MassMoment. Meditate on how God has spoken you and your ears will become more "tuned in" to his voice. (5 Sep 2021) Going Deeper: Check out the videos on Encounter School of Ministry's website. Thank You Mission Partners | Image Source
14 minutes | Aug 29, 2021
This One False Idea is Making You Miserable | #1141
Ordinary Time, 22nd Sunday (B) This one idea leads to a great deal of anger, hurt, anxiety, and depression. To make yourself miserable, all you have to do is think, "If I get my way, I'll be happy." At first glance you might tell me that I've got it backwards. But I will prove my point three different ways: The universe don't care about your puny little will. It's happy to rain on your parade, let things break at the worst possible time, and generally screw up your plans in every conceivable way.Other people. Every other person in the universe becomes a potential source of misery. We can't all be happy, and so we fight constantly over who wins and who loses.The science of happiness demonstrates that humans are actually laughably bad at guessing what will lead to happiness. We've all had experiences where getting my way turned out to be miserable. And we've all had experiences where getting the last thing I wanted turned out to be a huge blessing. Too often, people of faith use their religion as a crutch to prop up this false idea. They think, "If I'm a good person, if I do the right things and pray hard enough, then God will make sure I get the good weather that I want, the health, the success, etc." God becomes my servant. The Gospel gives us a different solution. Instead of trying to bend God, others, and the universe to my puny will, I can fold my will into God's will. I can let my plans be part of the much bigger, and much better, plans that God has for all of us. Just reading that sentence, you can already feel the anxiety and frustration leaving you. The Church has a word for this idea. We call it, "Stewardship." It happens when we start to realize that God has been busy serving me and taking care of me long before I woke up, long before I was conceived into existence. When I serve, I am just giving back. And what's more, I am surrendering to a bigger and better plan than I could have thought up by myself. Trying to get my way actually gets in the way. Set your heart on being a Steward and watch as your life becomes happier. (29 Aug 2021) Going Deeper: How does trying to get my way, and throwing tantrums when I don't, manifest itself in my life? What would a life of Stewardship look like for me? Oriens 2021 Now Available to Preorder | Powered by Patrons | Photo by Moose Photos from Pexels
20 minutes | Aug 22, 2021
The Holy Mountain: Changed for God | #1140
Ordinary Time, 21st Sunday (B) This is the final homily in The Holy Mountain series. We have been reading through John 6 and I've been comparing Mass to a pilgrimage. Many Catholics don't struggle with Church teaching on the Eucharist because they've never actually come to grips with transubstantiation. The Church teaches that what looks like bread and tastes like bread is not, in fact, bread; it is actually the Lord Jesus Christ, King of the universe, fully alive in flesh and blood. You take Baby Jesus into your hands when you receive Communion. To help us grasp the reality of the Eucharist, I am going to re-read the entire passage of John 6. As I read it, prayerfully reflect to yourself: What does the Church teach and what do I believe? Follow along at BibleGateway.com The Word became flesh. Then the flesh became bread, so that you could eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood and have his life within you. There is no Communion without commitment. You come to the altar to give yourself to God as he gives himself to you. It is a beautiful exchange, an exchange that transforms you. I want to share two moments when I experienced that Church teaching on the Eucharist is really true. One Labor Day I sat in the pew and experienced Communion and community in a whole new way. Another was a healing that at parishioner experienced. How have you been changed, "transubstantiated", by an experience at Mass? Share your #MassMoments in the comments below. (22 Aug 2021) Going Deeper: Get out your Bible and prayerfully re-read John 6. Share a #MassMoment Listen to all five homilies in the series The Holy Mountain: The Holy Mountain: Hungry For More | #1136The Holy Mountain: I Am Not Alone | #1137The Holy Mountain: Tree of Life | #1138The Holy Mountain: An Hour in Heaven | #1139The Holy Mountain: Changed for God | #1140 Image Source | Powered by Patrons and by your comments. Thank you!
13 minutes | Aug 15, 2021
The Holy Mountain: An Hour in Heaven | #1139
Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary • This feast day used to have a reading of the Gospel of Martha and Mary. The Blessed Virgin Mary welcomed Jesus when he came knocking on her heart. When Mary died, Jesus came to get her and welcome her to his home. Mass reminds us of our dignity and our destiny. Mass reminds us of our dignity by giving us a seat at the last supper and a place at the foot of the cross. Mass reminds us of our destiny by giving us a glimpse of heaven. We gather as one community, we sing, we worship God and participate in the supper of the Lamb. Bishop Ricken as rescinded the dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass. This means that Catholics are required to spend an hour in heaven every Sunday. If you can't come physically, at least your heart is here with us. Or is it? Jesus can't welcome you into His eternal life if you haven't welcomed him into your earthly life. Come to God's house on Sunday, welcome him into your heart and your home, and Jesus will welcome you into his. (15 Aug 2021) Going Deeper: What is one way I can contribute to helping my local Sunday Mass feel just a little more like an hour in heaven? Next in the series >> The Holy Mountain: An Hour in Heaven | #1139 Powered by Patrons | Image Source | Thank you Fr. Looney for the Assumption Gospel tidbit.
15 minutes | Aug 8, 2021
The Holy Mountain: Tree of Life | #1138
Ordinary Time, 19th Sunday (B) We are on a pilgrim journey to Eternal Life, and the Eucharist is food for the journey. Every Sunday is a pilgrimage to your local Catholic Church. Through the mystery of the Eucharist, we stand on the hill of Calvary and kneel at the foot of the Cross. Jesus offers himself as the perfect sacrifice for my sins and yours. Remember Adam and Eve? The two thieves, the loincloth and the crown of thorns point back to the sin of our first parents. These clues remind us that God has not forgotten their sin -- not to hold it against them, but to atone for it. The cross is the Tree of Life and the Body of Christ is the fruit. We begin Mass by confessing our sins. Before receiving Communion we say, "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed." The Mass is dripping with our need for repentance and new life. Do you want to start over? Bring your regrets to Jesus. I often get the question, "Father, I keep committing the same sins over and over again. What do I do?" I have a novel suggestion: stop trying not to sin. Where Jesus is, there is no sin. If we find ourselves repeatedly sinning, it is because we need to invite Jesus in or turn something over to Jesus. Draw near to Jesus. Stop trying to do it yourself. Invite him under your roof and receive forgiveness, healing, and new life. This is the symbolism behind the Offertory at Mass. The money that is presented represents your successes and achievements that you are offering to God. The bread and the wine, made from crushed grapes and ground grain, remind us of our failures and regrets. We give it all to God, we put it on the altar, and he blesses and transforms it. Every area of my life that I have struggled with, God has used for grace. When I turn these areas over they become sources of healing, hope, and new life -- not just for me, but also for the people I minister to. Bring Jesus your mistakes, failures, and regerts, and let him give you new life. Going Deeper: What did I offer at Mass today? What should I be offering on the altar the next time I am in Mass? Is there a place in my life that I need to give to Jesus or welcome him in? Next in the series >> The Holy Mountain: An Hour in Heaven | #1139 Icon of the Resurrection | Image Source | Thank you to my staff and parishioners for your patience and support this first year.
18 minutes | Aug 2, 2021
The Holy Mountain: I Am Not Alone | #1137
Ordinary Time, 18th Sunday (B) A pilgrimage is more than just religious tourism. It is a journey of faith, a journey of the heart, a journey that changes us. Most people don't realize that Mass on Sunday is a religious pilgrimage. You process from your homes to the holy mountain that is your local Catholic parish. Through the Mass, you take a seat in the upper room; you are a guest at the Last Supper. There are many effects from this pilgrimage. I want to highlight just one: you are not alone. We often feel alone, and we realize that I can't do this alone. The Good News is that you don't have to do it alone. God is with us in the flesh and in the Eucharist. Jesus wants to remain with you; do you remain with him? There is a second sense in which we are not alone: we don't do it alone because we are all here together. Jesus calls us to be a community of faith. We need to be spiritually fed so that we can feed others. The Eucharist is not magic; it is a constant invitation to come to Jesus and be fed. But you must realize that those who are fed become bread for others. (1 Aug 2021) Going Deeper: How can I help spiritually feed the community of my family and the community of my local parish? Pray about one practical step you can take, then work in it this week. Mass is a pilgrimage to a holy place. Your local Catholic parish is the upper room; you become a guest at the Last Supper. The community is starving. Instead of spiritual cannibalism; turn to Jesus and be fed! Then turn and feed others. Next in the series >> The Holy Mountain: Tree of Life | #1138 Powered by Patrons Thank You Kevin and Peggy! Image Source
14 minutes | Jul 25, 2021
The Holy Mountain: Hungry for More | #1136
Ordinary Time, 17th Sunday (B) My annual paddle trip was a big success. I paddled 90 miles in 8 days. I returned to the same place I had left, but I was changed in some way. I saw a simple way of living and that less is more. A pilgrimage is a journey to a holy place that changes us. The gospel of John 6 begins with a pilgrimage. The people go out into the wilderness in search of something more than everyday life. They recline (an attitude of receiving) and God blesses them with more. So much of an abundance, in fact, that they have some left over. Do you realize that Mass itself is a pilgrimage? We all leave our homes and make a journey to a holy place, the holy mountain that is your local Catholic church. You have come to Mass because you aren't willing to settle for what the world is willing to offer you. You have come here looking for more. This weekly pilgrimage reminds us that life itself is a journey. You were made for more! One sign that we are on pilgrimage is that we are all fasting. We have to fast from food for one hour before receiving Holy Communion. Empty your mouth. Empty your stomach. Open yourself to the *more* that God wants to give you! Instead of bringing all that stuff here, try to bring what is here back home with you.(25 Jul 2021) Going Deeper: Fasting means more than just not eating food. Consider also fasting from screens, noise, news, and other distractions on Sunday mornings before Mass.How were you changed by this week's pilgrimage to Sunday Mass? Next in the series >> The Holy Mountain: I Am Not Alone | #1137 Thank you to Fr. Mel | Sisters of Mercy | Benedictines of Shaw Island | Powered by Patrons
20 minutes | Jul 11, 2021
Do This Instead of Parish Fundraisers | #1135
Ordinary Time, 15th Sunday (B) At your Baptism, you were blessed, chosen, and destined. You were incorporated into the Beloved, that is, Jesus. We weren't "holy and without blemish", so Jesus died for you. Then you were sealed with the Holy Spirit at your Confirmation. All you had to do was hope in Christ, hear, and believe. We who have been chosen, blessed, and sent no longer belong to this world. We are passing through. God will take care of his chosen ones. So why do we focus so much energy on money and fundraisers? Why are we all so short on time? I would contend it's because you don't give time to God. Start by giving God the first hour of the first day of the week. Then give God at least 15 minutes of quality time each day. The Church can't focus on the right things if Christians aren't focused on Christ. (11 July 2021) Going Deeper: Does your parish put more focus and energy on casting out demons and healing the sick or on parish fundraising events? Make a commitment to quality time with God every single day and watch what happens to your time. Listen to old homilies at PilgrimPriest.us / Podcast
14 minutes | Jul 4, 2021
The Innkeeper's Daughter, A Parable | #1134
Ordinary Time, 14th Sunday (B) The people of Nazareth reject Jesus because they think they know all about him. Many of us have had the misfortune of growing up Catholic. We got enough Jesus to inoculate us against the Gospel but not enough to actually save us. St. Paul grew up as Jew in a pagan town. He studied with some of the best rabbis of his day. He thought he knew all about Judaism. But he missed the whole point: Jesus. Now that he knows the truth, God allows him to continue to experience weakness so he won't get too confident in himself. If we think we have Jesus figured out, then we probably have it wrong. Only when we realize we don't know everything about Jesus can God begin to unfold the true gift of his Son. Our Savior is humble, obedient, and charitable. Be like Jesus. (4 Jul 2021) Going Deeper: How has God opened your eyes to the true meaning of Christianity? What more do you want to learn? How can you grow? Meditate on these questions and ask God to continue to open your eyes. Powered by Patrons | Image by Leonardo Aguiar and lecrusois
15 minutes | Jun 27, 2021
Unexpected Blessings at 14 Years of Priesthood | #1133
Ordinary Time, 13th Sunday (B) This was the first weekend when I got to celebrate Mass as a Catholic priest. The call felt peaceful but the reality has been chaotic. These readings resonate with my experience of priesthood. Jesus is on his way to cure one person when he gets distracted by another cure. Both women are "untouchable." But Jesus touches them and restores them both to life. Only Peter, James, and John and the child's parents are in the room when the healing happens. I have experienced many challenges but also many blessings. Here are some of the unexpected blessings of priesthood:Celibacy. I accepted celibacy because it was part of the package deal of priesthood, not because I was excited to not have a wife and children. Being celibate has forced me to develop an intimacy with God that has fueled and sustained my priesthood. I would say celibacy has actually been greater blessing even than being a priest.Follow the recipe. You don't have to be incredibly creative. Whether it's a funeral or a wedding or the seasons of the year, I just follow Holy Mother Church's time-tested recipe and it comes out good every time.Jesus does most of the work. "Jesus has plenty of money," as my spiritual director told me. He is also an incredible healer of souls and bodies. I get to be in the room when Jesus forgives sins and raises the spiritually dead to new life. There's no one Jesus doesn't love and nothing Jesus can't do, and I get to witness it happening. Going Deeper: I was going to mention a fourth blessing but cut it in the interest of time. And ironically, the blessing was time. There never seems to be enough time to do everything. Until, that is, I started making prayer a priority. Prayer helped me see that I was spending time on the things that weren't important. When I started focusing on the important things, suddenly I had enough time with even a little left over. This week, make prayer a priority. Then focus on the important things and see what happens to your time. (27 Jun 2021) Powered by Patrons
11 minutes | Jun 20, 2021
Calming a Stormy Heart | #1132
Ordinary Time, 12th Sunday (B) When paddling across Death's Door in a kayak, even small waves can feel frightening. Imagine a fishing boat that is being swamped with water! Jesus wakes up and quiets the storm. Only God has authority over the natural elements. Jesus is showing that he is God. There are storms raging around us right now. But more frightening than those are the storms that rage in our hearts. Jesus is in your heart, but has he fallen asleep? Perhaps instead of waking him, we should be entering into the peace of his heart. Be with the Lord and you will find peace in any storm. (20 Jun 2021) Going Deeper: Next time your heart feels stormy, go to church or to a prayerful place and spend some quiet time with Jesus. Let him calm your heart. Image Source | Powered by Patrons
14 minutes | Jun 13, 2021
A Special Flower in the Garden of God | #1131
Ordinary Time, 11th Sunday (B) A good gardener knows each plant. Each one is special and precious and receives what it needs -- a sunny view, or shade, a lot of water, or a little, etc. God is a good gardener and we are each plants. We are each precious and unique and special to God. And yet, as Blessed Carlos Acutis said, "Each of us is born unique. But many of us die as photocopies." We have all tried to make ourselves like someone else. We idolized people that weren't happy and criticized ourselves for being different. You try to be like others because you were taught in school that you exist because of random chance and survival of the fittest. We think that our existence is an accident, that we have no inherent value. We treat like like a game of "survivor" and the least popular kids will get voted off the island. Instead of celebrating who I am, I feel that I'm not enough, and if I don't find a way to be more, I'll soon be eliminated. The truth is, the animal kingdom doesn't play by the rules of evolutionists. Each unique plant places a special role in the lives of the other plants and animals. They support each other and balance one another out. Problems happen when we move a foreign species into an ecosystem where it doesn't have a niche and it becomes an invasive species. Most extinctions are caused not by survival of the fittest but by human activity. Nature carefully conserves millions of unique species and balances them with each other. "We walk by faith and not by sight," says our second reading. And that means we need to have faith in God's goodness. We also need to have faith in our own value. Baptism not only wipes away original sin and makes a child Catholic. It also means you are adopted as a beloved child of God, incorporated as a unique part of the Body of Christ, and made a precious temple of the Holy Spirit. Imagine how your life would look different if you lived these truths each day? When we start living for ourselves and trying to survive, we become like weeds instead of productive plants. Don't try to be a photocopy of someone else. Be the beautiful plant that you were made to be. By being yourself, you will help others thrive and grow. (13 June 2021) Going Deeper: Go for a walk in a botanical garden or flower bed and marvel at the varieties you see there. Try to find one way to affirm the unique dignity of each of the people in your life.
12 minutes | Jun 6, 2021
Jesus Leads Us and Feeds Us | #1130
The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (B) Through the gift of the Incarnation, Jesus carries our blood in his veins. Through the gift of the Eucharist, Jesus' blood enters our body. We become "blood brothers" with Jesus. The Eucharist is food for the journey. Jesus leads us, and feeds us, on our pilgrimage to our heavenly homeland. (6 June 2021) Going Deeper: Check out the Eucharistic procession in Orvieto, Italy from 2007:The 'floats' (more like giant banners) begin 26 minutes into the procession.The cathedral umbrella shows up at 35 minutes. I as one of those seminarians back in 2006 or 2007.The monstrance, which features the Eucharist above the blood-stained corporal relic, appears at 37 minutes. Powered by Patrons
14 minutes | May 30, 2021
Get Them Together for Meals and Memories | #1129
Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity (B) "They worshipped, but they doubted." What did they doubt? I can think of three different doubts based on my own experience:I doubted it was true. What if Jesus wasn't real, or some other religion was true, or no religion?This doubt was answered by living my faith and realizing that it really works.I doubted God loved me and was always with me.This doubt was answered by relationship with God. In my prayer time and on retreat, I experienced that God was with me, and God showed me how he has always been with me.I doubted I could fulfill my mission.We are all called to be "little Christs." But we really can't do it on our own. This doubt was answered by community. One of the deepest longings of the human heart is the desire for community: we "long to belong." The number-one determining factor of your happiness is whether you are part of a rich network of human connections. We were made by the Holy Trinity, which is itself a community. We are born into community and were made for community. But we break those promises and don't live the community we were made to be. Phyllis used to tell her family, "Being a family doesn't just happen. You need to get them together for meals and memories." We have to invest in community. Every Sunday, God gets his church family together to share meals and memories. Let us work on fostering communities modeled after the Holy Trinity. Going Deeper: Do you get your family together to share meals and memories? Do you have a church family that you can share meals and memories with? Foster those important communities. Image Source | Powered by Patrons
14 minutes | May 16, 2021
Little Jesuses Everywhere | #1128
Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord (B) Just when Jesus was poised to conquer the world... he left the disciples and ascended into heaven. We no longer expect an earthly king, but we certainly could use a Messiah to teach us, heal our sick, forgive sinners and even raise the dead. So why is Jesus not here? God had a different plan. His plan was to fill the whole world with Jesuses. Every single Christian is called to be a little Jesus. Do you love your wife like Christ loves the Church? Do you love your family, friends, and neighbors as Jesus does? Of course not, because the call is impossible. But all things are possible for God. I would contend that when Jesus emptied himself, he left all his "God powers" behind. It wasn't until he received the Holy Spirit at his Baptism that he started working miracles. You have received the same Spirit; you have the same call. How do we unlock the power of the Holy Spirit? Three steps: First, acknowledge the fact that, as a Christian, I am called to love others as Christ has loved me. Second, realize that I cannot possibly fulfill this calling by my own efforts. Third, turn to God and ask him to help me fulfill my mission. And the world will realize that Jesus is with us because Jesus is within you. Going Deeper: Follow the three steps above and try, with God's help, to love like Jesus this week. Thank you Carl | Powered by Patrons | Photo by Edmond Dantès from Pexels
Terms of Service
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
© Stitcher 2021