Friday, July 27, 2012

Ordinary Time 17

Today’s Gospel is a wonderful affirmation that Jesus is indeed the prophet who has come into the world. The story tells us that with almost no resources, just the lunch of a little boy, Jesus was determined to feed the people. He did it miraculously and abundantly. And, in fact, the scraps were more than what he started with. Those who ate of the meal were so impressed they wanted to make Jesus their king.

From this miracle, Jesus will attempt to teach the people its significance that he himself is the bread that has come from heaven, not the magic provider of everything they want, but the genuine source of all that they need.

A good lesson for us to learn is when we share all we have; God can provide all that is needed for everyone. This is a sign of God’s abundant love working through simple people. It is this sort of generosity that allows the hand of the Lord to feed us and answer all our needs.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Ordinary Time 16

I recently came back from South Dakota where I visited the Badlands, the Black Hills and Mount Rushmore with my buddy Fr. Malcolm McDonald. At Mount Rushmore we saw the faces of our four presidents carved in stone.

I am sure we have many images of our family hanging on the walls of our homes. I have pictures of my parents and my brothers, I also have many icons hanging on my walls. I recently received one of the Blessed Virgin Mary from Bishop Winter. An icon is a Greek word for image. Another definition is that an icon is a window into heaven. The word has come to mean a sacred image. An icon is an artistic representation of a sacred person or event such as Jesus; Mary, the Mother of God; the saints, the Nativity or Resurrection of Jesus. One icon I have depicts Jesus the Good Shepherd. On Jesus’ shoulder He is carrying a lamb. By our faith we believe that Jesus cares for us; He is always looking out for us and He is ready to search us out when we are lost. The image of the good shepherd is often used in the Bible. Psalm 23, one of the most memorable psalms, is probably the best-known poem on this theme. Have you ever taken time to slowly read this beautiful psalm? It truly is a wonderful prayer for all of us to know. Take some time to read this psalm. It is also good to have sacred images in our homes because they remind us of how much God cares for us. It is good to be reminded of this often.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Ordinary Time 15

Most of us are not natural missionaries. We wouldn’t consider going off to some foreign land or even walking around the neighborhood knocking on doors to tell others about Jesus. But missionary venture is part of our faith. Every Mass ends with the words (in Latin) “Ite, missa est” - “Go, you are sent.” Sent to do what? And by whom? It is not the priest that sends us out. It is God. And we are sent to spread the good news in the world. It is not hard to tell a friend or neighbor that God is good. Try it today!

See you at the Parish Picnic at Fairhaven Park on Sunday, July 15 at 1:00 PM. Come and join the parish family for fun!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Ordinary Time 14

In one of the great Peanuts cartoons by Charles Schulz, Charlie Brown makes a heartfelt appeal: “Believe in me!” A little blonde girl walks by without even giving him a glance. In the next frame, Charlie cries out again: “Believe in me!” His own beloved dog, Snoopy, trots by, lost in his own thoughts. In the next frame Charlie has fallen into stride with another little girl, who is trying to ignore him as he cries out again: “Believe in me!” In the final frame, Charlie is sitting on the curb, chin in his hands, staring hopelessly. “I just can’t get people to believe in me!”

Today’s Gospel paints a similar picture of Jesus being rejected by his own townspeople in Nazareth. Scripture says: “And Jesus was amazed at their unbelief.” Jesus is calling out to us: “Believe in me!” How are we going to respond?