Saturday, June 24, 2017

06-25-17 -- 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

June 25, 2017 - 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A 
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church

There are many things we might be afraid of. We are afraid to profess our faith in public. We go pale when someone asks us to lead a prayer before a gathering.

We are afraid to ask someone not to use foul language or tell dirty jokes in our presence. We are afraid to tell our friends when their behavior is foolish.

We are afraid that the violence that is out there may one day visit us here. We are afraid of losing our jobs.

We are afraid to take the keys away from someone who’s had too much to drink.

We are afraid of growing old or getting sick. We are afraid of dying.

We are afraid of standing up to our kids and making them mind us.

We are afraid of the secrets that we keep.

Consider the time and energy we waste being afraid. We fear many things and those fears separate us from God.

That’s right, our fears separate us from God.

That’s why Jesus says, no less than three times in today’s gospel, do not be afraid.

Why so many warnings? Because God knows that if anything trips us up, it will be fear.

All through the gospels, the disciples are warned to not be afraid.

They are told not to fear at the empty tomb. They are told not to be afraid when Jesus walks on the water and calms the storm. They are told not to fear when Jesus appears in the locked room.

They are told not to worry about what to eat or what to drink or what to wear.

As we gather to celebrate the Eucharist, can we bring Jesus our fears? Can we place them at the foot of the altar and then leave them there?

If we do not, then we take them with us when we leave here. We take them with us back into the world. And they separate us from God.

With every hair on our heads counted, we are told that we are loved, we are cared for.

Even when the darkness comes, we have nothing to fear. The Lord is with us rescuing us from darkness and leading us into the Kingdom of Light.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

06-18-17 -- Corpus Christi, Year A

June 18, 2017 - Corpus Christi, Year A 
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church

With obesity on the rise in our nation and around the world, it’s very unlikely that we are ever truly hungry, at least for food.

But in our times, when our social and personal interactions are ever increasingly filtered through smartphones and social media, we seem to have a hunger for many things, other things, besides food.

We are hungry for love. We are hungry for acceptance.
We are hungry for affection. We are hungry for belonging.
We are hungry for good health. We are hungry for happiness.

Yet we devour all the wrong kinds of things to fill these hungers.

We stuff ourselves with food.
We drown ourselves in alcohol.
We hook up with others using online apps.
We deaden the pain with pills.
We try to quench our desires with porn.

Nothing satisfies. Nothing satisfies. So we continue devouring all the wrong things until we are stuffed.

On this Feast of the Body and Blood of the Lord, Jesus offers love.

Jesus offers acceptance. Jesus offers belonging. Jesus offers healing. Jesus offers happiness.

Jesus looks lovingly into our eyes and says: My body is for you. My blood is for you. I give my life for you.

I know sometimes coming up for communion doesn’t feel like Jesus taking ours faces into his hands, holding us close, looking into our eyes and saying to us, “I am for you.” But that’s exactly what is happening.

While I was in New York, I had the good fortune of seeing the revival of the award winning Broadway musical, Miss Saigon.

It is the love story of a Vietnamese woman who falls madly in love with an American soldier. And he falls for her as well. As fate would have it, Saigon falls and she is left behind.

He is forced to return to America heartbroken. In time he moves on. But she does not. She gives birth to his son.

There is a moment at the end of act one where she sings a heartbreaking love song to her son. I’d give my life for you. And eventually, she is forced to do just that.

Jesus is our love story. I give my life for you.

Jesus gives his life for you. Jesus cradles you in his arms. Jesus looks into you eyes and says, “I give my life for you.”

At this Eucharist we taste love. At this Eucharist we touch love.

When we come to realize this, when we come to understand this, then we realize that we are loved and accepted. We belong and there is no need for anything else.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

06-04-17 -- Pentecost, Year A

June 4, 2017 - Pentecost, Year A 
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church

In our readings this weekend, we see two distinct groups of people. There are the People of Babel and the People of the Spirit. The People of Babel want what they want, while the People of the Spirit want what God wants.

The People of Babel seek their own will. They seek to build a monument to themselves.

Listen to them again. Come, let us build a tower reaching to the sky so we can make a name for ourselves. They labor only for themselves, for their honor or glory or comfort or legacy. Whichever it is, the result is the same.

And what is the result of all their labors? They are scattered and confused. All their hard work comes to nothing. And they must start over.

On the other hand, the People of the Spirit recognize their own weaknesses. They search their hearts and readily admit their shortcomings.

We do not know how to pray as we should. But because of their humility, the Spirit intercedes for them.

What is the result of their search for God? They have hope and they are saved.

Sometimes we are scattered and confused. Sometimes all of our hard work comes to nothing and we are forced to begin again. This is a sign to us that we are probably thinking and behaving like the People of Babel.

We are seeking our own fame and fortune. We are seeking our own will. We are seeking to build a monument to ourselves. This, of course, never ends well.

If we want to end all this confusion, if we want all of our hard work to come to come to something, to come to fruition, then we have to become People of the Spirit.

We have to allow the Holy Spirit to come to our aid. We have to invite the Holy Spirit to intercede for us.

We can begin by seeking what God wants for us instead of always doing only what we want.

Through prayer, we can begin to discover God’s will for us. Through prayer, we can begin asking the Holy Spirit for wisdom and guidance.

Today on this Feast of Pentecost let us search our hearts to see if we are People of Babel or People of the Spirit.

The People of Babel end up scattered and confused while the People of the Spirit have hope and are saved.