Showing posts from August, 2018

Stay or Go. 21st Sunday OT

Here are links to the letters of Bishop Braxton and Pope Francis , which Bishop Braxton asked to be read at all Masses, printed in bulletins, and posted on websites. We didn't get them in the bulletin but I'll have paper copies available next weekend. In this fourth and final consecutive passage from the Bread of Life discourse in John 6, we get to see the fallout from this teaching of Jesus. He’s been shocking and even disturbing them. You tell me, how would you react to a man who was telling you you’d live forever if you drank his blood? But the more they press Him, the more he just doubles down: Yes, I’m really saying that. You have to eat my Body and drink my Blood. Many Christians react the same way today, and again, it’s no wonder. Surely Jesus means something symbolic or poetic here. But there’s a very good reason that belief can’t work. And it’s what we’re going to focus on this week. The first focus was the Eucharist as receiving Jesus, and the second was the Euch

Bread of Life, Body of Christ: 20th Sunday OT

It's the third of four consecutive Sundays that we hear from John 6, from what’s called the Bread of Life discourse. It offers a chance to look at the Eucharist from a few different perspectives. So two weeks ago, the focus on receiving Jesus. Last week, the focus on offering Jesus. This week we'll take a more personal angle. My summer Mass schedule has just changed a lot with the end of the Sunday night camp Masses, shuttling between Gallatin County and Camp Ondessonk. It’s a big shift to make in the space of an hour’s drive. I love them both, but they’re really different! The most obvious difference at Camp is that we’re outside, under the overhanging Grotto, looking out over Lake St. Isaac and up at God’s universe and the swallows flying around the bluff. It can also be swelteringly hot in vestments, but the spirit and energy of those liturgies is amazing. My preaching there is very different as well. The sermons here wouldn’t work there, and the sermons there definitely w

On the Pennsylvania abuse report: a letter from a pastor

The following is being distributed in our bulletin this weekend. It reflects my weak attempt to offer something at least better than silence. It had to be composed hastily and it certainly doesn't feel adequate, but I don't think anything would.  I think it's important for parents to know that the number of abuse cases since 2002 seems very few. I almost hate to say that, out of fear that it sounds like minimizing or downplaying what should never be downplayed. But parents need to know the current situation as well as the past. What we've done since 2002 seems to have had a huge impact. In whatever remains to be done, I am anxious to work with anyone who has ideas. Dear Friends in Christ, “Grand jurors are just regular people who are randomly selected for service. We don’t get paid much, the hours are bad, and the work can be heartbreaking. What makes it worthwhile is knowing we can do some kind of justice. We spent 24 months dredging up the most depraved behavior,

Given Up: 19th Sunday OT

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 S

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.

St. Jean Vianney & NFP: guest blog for CCLI

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

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. George Pedro, Jesus Speaking to a Crowd 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? We could ask the same question of ourselves, right here, right now. We’ve got a crowd here, come to gather