Posts

Given Up: 19th Sunday OT

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Sometimes, standing in the back of the church aisle, about to give the go-ahead for the processional hymn, I’ll ask the servers: “Ready to go save the world?” That's putting it in a kind of lighthearted way, but it’s absolutely not a joke. I’m reminding them, and even more reminding myself, of exactly what it is we are about to do. Because it’s a simple truth that the Mass saves the world.

“Wait!,” someone shouts, “The Cross of Jesus Christ saves the world!” That’s absolutely right, but what do you think the Mass is? It is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross, extended through time and space. Think of Good Friday as a point on the timeline of history. What Jesus did that day on Calvary offers salvation to every human being who ever lived before Him, and every human being who will ever live after Him. It’s like that Cross comes down from Heaven and plants itself right there in 33 A.D. outside Jerusalem, and ripples out through all time and space. Those ripples are the Holy Sa…

Transfigured - a coauthored article for CCLI

Guest blogging is getting to be a fun side hustle! This one's a collaboration with Forest Hempen of the Couple-to-Couple League International.

https://ccli.org/2018/08/transfigured/

St. Jean Vianney & NFP: guest blog for CCLI

I've been doing a little moonlighting over at Couple-to-Couple League International:

https://ccli.org/2018/08/on-st-jean-vianney-and-nfp/

The brief was to tie the feast of the patron Saint of parish priests, St. Jean (John) Vianney, into a short article on Natural Family Planning... kind of the priest's point of view I guess.

Here for Him: 18th Sunday OT

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This is the second of five weeks of readings from the sixth chapter of John’s Gospel. Last week was the set-up, the story of the feeding of five thousand from a few loaves and fishes. It’s a great miracle; like I said, one of my favorites! But that miracle was only a foretaste, only a shadow of what is coming next.

Because what’s coming next, as the sixth chapter of John continues, is that Jesus begins teaching about the Bread of Life.

Since that miracle of the loaves and fishes, Jesus and the Apostles have travelled back to Capernaum, but the people follow them there. You may have noticed this is kind of a pattern. Why? This great crowd that is following Jesus around everywhere, what are they seeking? That's where He begins the conversation today. He challenges their reasons for following Him around. What are they looking for?

All we've got: 17th Sunday OT

This miracle gives us a glimpse of what can happen when we stop telling Jesus what we need and start giving Him what we have. Like us, the Apostles’ starting point is what they don’t have, what they’re missing, our own true and obvious inadequacy. Look at all these hungry people! There’s no way we can manage this. Sorry, Jesus, but this seems pretty hopeless. Nothing we can do. We don’t have enough.

What do you have?

Restoration: 16th Sunday OT 2018

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Last week Jesus sent out his twelve Apostles on mission, and in today’s Gospel they’ve just come back. They report to Jesus “everything they had done and taught.” I saw one comment that this shows a very human failing: focusing on ourselves and what we do, instead of on God and what He’s doing. So at the end of something, we’re likely to think of it as ours, as something we did, our work, our achievement. When really it is God from whom anything truly good comes, and it’s grace that gives any success to what we do. Surely this isn’t a condemnation of the Apostles… but as they grow spiritually, they will have less to say about their work and more to say about what God has done.

Human self-centeredness notwithstanding, the Gospel is catching fire, and people are starting to come. The Apostles had gone out to spread the word among the towns, and now people from all over are coming to see Jesus. You can imagine a few people coming the first day, then more… then getting to be a crowd, and …

Ite Missa Est: 15th Sunday OT 2018

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Three simple questions for today: What’s your mission? What do you take? What do you leave behind?

What if I pointed at you right now and asked you to stand up and tell everyone what your mission from Jesus Christ in the world is? Would you have an answer? I think you should. Maybe you could say something right away. It might not be polished and eloquent but you could stand up and say right away ‘this is the mission Jesus has given me in the world.’ Or maybe you’ve got a vague kind of idea but wouldn’t know how to put it into words. I’d encourage you to give that some thought… figure out those words. Clear is better than vague with something as important as this. On the other hand, maybe that question would really throw you for a loop. My mission from Jesus Christ? Ummm… are you sure you’re asking the right person?

But even if you’ve never thought about it that way, I’m sure you’ll agree that God didn’t make anybody here with no purpose, no reason, no mission. And it’s nobody’s missio…