Showing posts from July, 2018

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? Not enough! That’s what we have. Not even close. Not enough to make a dent, to even make a little difference. The gap between what we need and what we have, it’s almost funny if it weren’t such a desperate situation. What do you HAVE? Please listen to me, I’m telling you we need more. We have practically nothing. What do you have? We have parishes closing all over the diocese. We have only a minority of the people baptized in this parish who practice their faith. Nationally we have six people leaving the Church for every one who joins. We have ten priests under

Restoration: 16th Sunday OT 2018

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

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 mis

Six Words You'll Need Someday: 14th Sunday OT 2018

I want you to remember this verse from 2 Corinthians and tattoo it on your brain, because someday you’re going to need it, and I hope it’ll come back to you when you do. In 2 Corinthians 12:9, God tells St. Paul: “My grace is enough for you.” It’s a verse that’s popular in music, printed in greeting cards, and embroidered on pillows, because it sounds so nice and reassuring and comfortable… and good, great! It’s always a good time to remember that His grace is enough. But I said this verse will come back to you someday when you need it. Maybe it’s today, maybe it’ll be a long time from now. But I can tell you some things about that day. The day you need this verse you won’t be swinging in a hammock between two coconut trees sipping a Mai Tai. The day you need this verse you won’t be celebrating a big win that’s got everybody telling you how great you are. That day you probably won’t be surrounded by supportive friends who make you feel loved and wanted. No, I don’t guess that an