Saturday, May 28, 2016

5-29-2016 -- The Body and Blood of Christ, Year C

May 29, 2016 - The Body and Blood of Christ, Year C
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church

It was a deserted place, an isolated place, a lonely place. And the people were hungry in this lonely place.

Jesus’ disciples want to send them away. Let them fend for themselves. Jesus has something else in mind.

Jesus wants to organize a dinner in this lonely place, so that the people are not hungry anymore.

There was food available, an absurdly small amount for five thousand. Can you imagine feeding five thousand with five loaves and two fish? Absurd.

The food that was available in this lonely deserted place was blessed by Jesus, then broken and shared. And amazingly enough no one went hungry.

Why? Because Jesus Christ is the eternal high priest who cares deeply for his flock.

This lonely place is transformed into an amazing feast because there is plenty for all.

This is not the only example of God feeding his people.
Melchizedek blesses and feeds Abram. Moses feeds the people in the desert with manna from heaven. Elijah feeds himself and the widow and her son during years of famine.

Jesus blesses and feeds the crowds. This shows that God is concerned for the needs of his people. We are God’s constant care. God desires to set a banquet before us.

Every time we gather for Mass we are guests of the Lord Jesus who blesses and breaks and shares himself for us, so that we are not hungry, so that we are not lonely. What is blessed is also broken and shared.

What Jesus has done is an act of charity. But remember, at first, Jesus wanted the disciples to do this. You give them something to eat. But they needed Jesus to set the example. And he did. For them and for us.

Jesus blesses us in our brokenness and calls us to share. We are blessed by the Lord. And that’s a good feeling, to receive the Lord’s blessing here in this place. But let’s face it. We know that we are also broken.

Having been blessed and broken, we are called to share ourselves with others, people who are sick and old, bringing encouragement and a smile.

We are called to share ourselves with people who are caught in the world of drug addiction, bringing God’s healing touch.

We are called to share ourselves with those who are less fortunate, bringing kindness to uplift a drooping spirit.

We are called to share ourselves with those who have suffered tragedy, bringing badly needed help.

We are called to share ourselves with those who are hurt and angry, bringing peace.

We are called to share ourselves with those who are suffering and lonely, bringing God’s presence

We are called to share ourselves with those who are lost, helping them find their way again.

This is a lonely place, we say. Jesus replies, give them some of yourselves and it will not be a lonely place anymore.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

5-22-2016 -- Holy Trinity, Year C

May 22, 2016 - Holy Trinity, Year C
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church

The Book of Wisdom tells us that when the Lord God established the heavens, Jesus was there.

When the Lord God fixed the foundations of the earth, Jesus was there. Jesus was there beside the Lord God as his craftsman.

And Jesus found delight in the human race from the very beginning.

But how can this be, we ask? Wasn’t Jesus born of the Virgin Mary. Yes, Jesus, the only Son of God, took on human flesh when he was born of the Virgin Mary.

But the Book of Wisdom makes it clear that the only Son existed with the Father and the Holy Spirit from the beginning.

And the Gospel tells us that there is an interconnectedness of each person of the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Spirit. And this Holy Trinity is connected to all of creation and every aspect of life.

This is a mystery not easily explained. And maybe, this mystery of the Holy Trinity is not meant to be understood as much as it is meant to be experienced.

The Holy Trinity is a mystery that we celebrate, a divine mystery that we discover, a holy mystery that unfolds before us. This mystery is not meant to tie us in knots. We do that ourselves.

We human beings set about destroying God’s creation. Probably because we are not God.

Rather, we are sinners. We wreak havoc. By our poor choices, we cause sin and sickness and disease. We consume; we take and do not always give back. We pollute; we kill; we destroy.

In a world with all these horrors that we’ve created, there must be some reason for us to hope. Our hope is this: that the Holy Trinity is still at work in the world.

We have hope that the Father is still giving all to the Son. We have hope that the Son is still sending the Holy Spirit who is taking what is God’s and declaring it to us.

We believe that the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit are redeeming, recreating, refashioning and remolding that which we have broken. Why? Because God still loves the human race.

Saint Paul reminds us that the love of God poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit does not disappoint. The love of God poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit gives us hope.

And so, we are called to rediscover God, to rediscover a mystery that is not meant to tie us in knots.

A mystery that brings awe and wonder, harmony and balance. A mystery that takes what is broken by our sins and restores it to new life.  

Saturday, May 14, 2016

5-15-2016 -- Pentecost, Year C

May 15, 2016 - Pentecost, Year C
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church

Jesus says, “Peace be with you.” But living together in peace and harmony in the midst of a culture that is increasingly selfish and violent, self-absorbed and lacking in charity seems like a task that is becoming almost impossible.

Instead of just accepting these mean, nasty, self-indulgent traits of ours, maybe this Feast of Pentecost is an opportunity for some self-reflection, an opportunity to ask, “Why is it that I do those self-indulgent, self-absorbed, mean and selfish things?

It’s okay for a toddler not to know the answer to this question “Why?” and it’s seemingly foolish for a parent to expect an answer from one so young. But we adults do not have the same excuse.

We cannot simply say, “I do not know why I do the things that I do.” This is lazy, especially when it is about the things that I do that do not bring peace.

And I think it’s important for us to look at this lack of peace in our lives, because the lack of peace means the lack of Christ. Where peace is absent, Christ is absent. How do I know this?

Because Jesus Christ says he comes bringing peace. And so, when there is peace, there is Christ. When we are peaceful, we are also Christlike.

This is where we want to be. And little by little by little we are working to get there.

We are working on this, each on our own and all of us together as a family of faith to be more peaceful, to be more Christlike.

Look at how this community responded to the terrible house fires of some of our own parishioners. Almost four thousand dollars were given out of love, out of care, out of concern; given knowing nothing would come in return, except a grateful “thank you.”

Do you see how that brings peace? Do you see how that brings Christ? It is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit present in our midst.

The Holy Spirit that we celebrate this Pentecost comes upon us and overshadows us, just like the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary when she conceived Jesus in her womb.

When the Holy Spirit overshadows us, the Spirit of God comes bringing wisdom, understanding, right judgment, strength, knowledge, devotion and love of God.

Come Holy Spirit shed a ray of light into our dark hearts.
Come with your sweet refreshment. Come be our welcome guest.

Heal our wounds. Pour water onto our dryness.
Wash away the guilt of our sins.

Bend our stubborn wills. Melt our frozen hearts.
Guide our feet when we go astray.

Come Holy Spirit, give us joy and peace that never end.

Amen. Alleluia.