Saturday, May 13, 2017

05-14-17 -- 5th Sunday of Easter, Year A

May 14, 2017 - 5th Sunday of Easter, Year A 
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church



We are created as God’s beloved precious ones. In baptism, we become sons and daughters of God the father. And that’s a transformation that happens from the inside out.

As children of the father, we are brought into the Catholic Church. Until Jesus’ dwelling place is ready and he comes to take us home, we have a temporary dwelling place here. We have a place where we belong. We have a place at the table now.

This is our dwelling place. No matter where we go in the world we will always have this family. No matter what we go through in our lives we will always have this family. And even when we mess up terribly, this family of the church is always ready to take us back.

No matter what, we always belong here. This Catholic Church is our temporary dwelling place until we reach our eternal home.

It is here that we can have an incredible encounter with Jesus. Jesus wants nearness. Jesus wants closeness. I desire to take you to myself so that where I am you will also be.

There are many ways for us to begin to have this closeness to Jesus. We can start by coming here often. This is God’s dwelling place here on earth. And Jesus his only son, our brother, is the cornerstone of this edifice.

This is only a foretaste of the magnificent dwelling that is being made ready in heaven.

It is here that we learn Jesus is the way. It is Jesus who will get us to the eternal dwelling place that is being prepared. We are called to be men and women of the way.

It is here that we learn Jesus is the truth. Jesus gives an example of radical honesty. We are called to be men and women of the truth.

It is here that we learn Jesus is the life. When we feel forgotten, lifeless, unimportant, we can come here and reach out and take Jesus by the hand and he will restore us to new life. Jesus wants to share his life with us. We are called to be men and women of life.

Jesus is the cornerstone of this magnificent shrine. And Jesus desires closeness. Jesus longs for us to come here and be with him.

And when we come here, we belong. When we come here we are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, the sons and daughters of God the most high, who calls us out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

05-07-17 -- 4th Sunday of Easter, Year A

May 07, 2017 - 4th Sunday of Easter, Year A 
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church



Sheep are smarter than everyone thinks they are. They exhibit herd behavior, which means that they instinctively know there is strength in numbers. They stay together for protection.

They are social and playful. They use all five senses. They know how to follow the leader.

They have the ability to recognize the face and the voice of their shepherd. They know their shepherd and they follow.

The shepherd’s task is to tend to and protect the sheep. The shepherd walks ahead and calls the sheep. The sheep follow because they recognize the voice.

The shepherd has a unique relationship with the sheep. The shepherd provides for the sheep. They are fed and watered and sheared and protected by the shepherd. The shepherd is a familiar figure.

Jesus says that he is the Good Shepherd. So then, everything that is true of the shepherd is also true of Jesus. Jesus provides for us. Jesus protects us. And if Jesus is the Good Shepherd, then his task is to tend to the good sheep.

If we are to be the good sheep, then we need to be able to say with confidence and faith: the Lord is my shepherd.

In Psalm 23 we learn that the Lord is my shepherd. The Lord guides my steps along the right path. The Lord walks with me though the dark times giving me courage. The Lord anoints my head with oil. The Lord refreshes my soul.

In the Gospel Jesus seeks the sheep as he calls out their names. Jesus serves. Jesus sacrifices. The Good Shepherd gives his life for his sheep.

Jesus is the Good Shepherd. Jesus knows his sheep. They recognize his voice. He calls them by name and they follow him.
Now, let’s be clear, just because Jesus knows all the sheep by name doesn’t mean they follow.

Look at the Pharisees. They refused to listen. They refused to follow. And Jesus accused them of being thieves and robbers who steal and slaughter and destroy.

We need to learn to recognize Jesus’ face. We need to learn to recognize Jesus’ voice. We need to learn to follow the Good Shepherd. We need to return to the Good Shepherd when we hear him call out our names.

In this way, we will have life and have it more abundantly. In this way, goodness and kindness will follow us all the days of our lives and we will dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come.